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Full text of "The history and antiquities of the county of Suffolk: with genealogical and architectural notices of its several towns and villages"

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Quisquis hujusmodi operis sategerit, ei non tantum multum Taedii et Lahoris devorandum, sed minime vulgaris conferenda in 
evolvendis Libris exercitatio. Frustra id aggrediuntur qui titulo tenus duntaxat sapiunt. MAITTAIRE. 

VOL. I. 









XorU Btefcop of #ortou&, 

&C., &C., &C., 






JUNE, 1846. 


UPON the completion of the First Volume of the present extensive and 
arduous work, it may not seem unseasonable to offer a few observations 
relative to its design and prosecution. The immediate aim of its Author 
has been to supply, in some measure, a deficiency in topographical 
literature by an humble essay to illustrate the History and Antiquities of 
the County of Suffolk, towards which so little, except in a few favoured 
spots, has hitherto been done. But although his undertaking dares not 
aspire to the character of a complete and general History, yet his object 
has been to convey, within reasonable limits, a detailed account of every 
parish in the county, to record the actions, characters, and family 
history of its past generations, and to perpetuate the memorials of their 
taste, their patriotism, and their devotion. 

In pursuance of this design he has endeavoured to avoid, as much as 
possible, all digressions, and to confine himself within the narrowest 
limits consistent with adequate information, to seek the middle way 
between superficial notice and too lengthened detail, a task more 
difficult than they can justly estimate, who have never ventured on the 

The materials for this design, which even thus limited is of vast 



extent, have been drawn from the most authentic sources: from 
the national records and from public documents; in conjunction with 
the Author's own collections, conducted through the leisure of above 
twenty years. These have been invariably noted, in the progress of 
the work, by marginal references, as authorities for facts, and acknow- 
ledgments of assistance. 

How well he has succeeded in arranging the vast mass of these 
materials, it is not in his power, neither is it his province, to 
determine. He may, possibly, be considered a dull and heavy compiler, 
and should public opinion so determine, he respectfully submits. To 
industry and zeal, he flatters himself, he may fairly lay claim, and these 
he can, confidently, promise as accompaniments to his future labours. 

From the local nature of the subject, he entertains no expectation 
that his work will excite any great degree of public attention ; neither 
has a prospect of fame or profit urged him to the prosecution of his task. 
It has formed an employment in the days of declining life, and a solace 
in the hours of sadness ; though not to the exclusion of more serious 
thoughts, nor to the neglect of parochial duties. 

In selecting from the abundance of his matter, the writer believes 
he has in no one instance warped or suppressed the truth : and unless 
his head and heart both deceive him, he has wounded the feelings of no 
individual by prejudice, preference, or partiality, nor by unfavourable 
introduction of family anecdotes. Every parish, in succession, has been 
illustrated to the full extent which the cost of elucidation will permit. 
More favoured districts will, unquestionably, furnish subjects of greater 
pictorial beauty and architectural interest, which will augment the 


elegance of the work as it progresses, and afford additional gratification 
to its patrons. 

To many kind and indulgent friends the Author begs to express 
his obligations for ready access to family documents, regretting that 
inert or fastidious considerations should have, in a few cases, rejected his 
respectful applications. But such discourtesies will occur in literary, as 
in real life; so, like the sturdy pilgrim, who boldly steps onwards, 
regardless of the rugged path, and the lowering storm, the Author 
proceeds cheerfully and steadily in the prosecution of his task ; cherishing 
a hope, which he trusts is not wholly unfounded, of liberal support and 
favourable recommendation, for on the extent of these must depend his 
ability to bring so expensive a work to a completion. So supported, his 
energies will be invigorated to finish what he has thus commenced, 
trusting for a continuance of health and reason to the gracious Dispenser 
of every good and perfect gift, with whom rest all our issues, "for 
neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth, but God 
that giveth the increase." 

Barsham Rectory, June, 1846. 




List of Birds rarely and occasionally met with in Suffolk xxxv 

Rare Plants found in Suffolk xxxix 

High Sheriffs, from 1576 to 1845 x lii 

Knights of the Shire, from 1542 to 1837 xlviii 



Beccles 1 Weston 97 

Barsham 35 Willingham St. Mary ....... 101 

North Cove 47 Worlingham 103 

Ellough 53 Ilketshall Ill 

Great Redisham 57 Bungay 119 

Little Redisham Cl Mettingham 168 

Ringsfield 67 South Elmham 183 

Shaddingfield 72 Flixton 189 

Shipmeadow 77 Homersfield 212 

Sotterley SI 


Barnaby 235 Kirkley 260 

Carlton Colville 237 Mutford 269 

Gisleham 243 Pakefield 279 

Kessingland 250 Rushmere 287 


Ashley 294 Corton 340 

Belton 301 Flixton 348 

Blundeston 307 Fritton 352 

Bradwell 321 Gorleston 360 

Burgh 328 

VOL. i. b 


1. Seal of Michael Stanhope, Vice-Admiral 

of Suffolk. Temp. EKz. . . . 

2. Bcccles Farthing, 1670 

3. South Porch of Beceles Church to/ace 

4. Beceles Church from the N. E. 

ft. Altar - Tomb, St. Michael's Church, 


(!. Windows in Do 

7. View of Roos Hall 

8. Shield of Arms Rede 

<). Do. Sharpin .... 

10. Portrait of Sir John Suckling to face 

11. Shield of Arms Suckling .... 

12. East end of Banham Church to fare 

13. Brass Effigy in Do 

14. Font in Do 

15. Barsham Rectory House 

16. Door in the Church, North Cove . 

17. Shield of Arms Farr 

IN. Door in Great Redisham Church . . 
1'J. Shield of Anns Gnrneys .... 
20.* Brass Effigies of Nicholas Garneys and 

Family t office 

Jl . The Old Hall, Shaddingfield . 

22. Font in Shaddingfield Church 

23. Window in St. Bartholomew Church, 


24. Stained Glass, Sotterley Church, to face 

25. Shield of Arms Playters .... 
26.* Brass Effigies (1, 2, 3) in Sotterley 

Church to face 

'27.* Brass Effigies (4, 5, 6) Do. 

28. Shield of Arms Barnc 

29. Splendid Oak Chest 

30. Remains of Bungay Castle .... 

31. Ancient Seal of the Benedictine Nun- 

nery, Bungay 

32. Do. 




































































Seal of Maria de Huntingfeld . . . 148 

St. Mary's Church, Bungay . to face 149 

Ancient Seal 160 

Shield of Arms Safford .... 169 

Gateway of Mettingham Castle to face 173 

Shield of Arms Flixton Priory . . 196 

Do. Tasburgh .... 198 

Flixton Hall to face 200 

Shield of Arms Adair 201 

Circular-headed Window, Flixton Church 202 

Carved Wood-work, Do. 203 

Double Piscina, Homersfield Church . 216 
Font in St. James's Church, South 

Elmham 219 

South Elmham Hall 223 

St. Peter's Hall, South Elmham . . 230 

Shield of Arms Crowfoot .... 247 
Font in St. Edmund's Church, Kessing- 

land 255 

The Galilee, Mutford Church, to face 275 

East Window in Do 277 

View of Pakefield .... to face 283 

Brass Effigy of Richard Folcard 284 

Shield of Arms Sydnor 311 

Do. Gonville . . . . 314 

View of Blundeston Church . . . . 318 

Compartment of Screen in Do. to face 318 
Piscina and Sedilia in the Church of St. 

Nicholas, Bradwell 325 

Plan of the Roman Encampment at 

Burgh 329 

Roman Stations at Burgh .... 331 

Fritton Church and Ground Plan to face 357 

Do. Interior of the Chancel 358 

Brass Effigy in Gorleston Church to face 373 

Painted Arched Recess in Do. . . . 373 

The Resurrection (Font in Do.) . . 374 
(Interior of the Crypts, St.Olave's Priory) 

* These three Engravings, as published in Part II., to he cancelled, and replaced by those given in Part III. 


AT the time of the Roman invasion of Britain, Suffolk formed part of a district inhabited 
by the Iceni. In the subsequent division of the island, it constituted a portion of the 
Roman province of Flavia Csesariensis, and under the Saxons formed the southern half 
of the kingdom of East Anglia. This petty state comprised the present counties of Norfolk 
and Suffolk, and a portion of Cambridgeshire. It was erected into an independent kingdom 
soon after the year 570, by Uffa; from whom its inhabitants were called Uffingas, or 

East Anglia was divided into two great, but rather unequal portions, by the sestuaries 
of the Little Ouse and the Waveney ; then very considerable streams, which probably 
united their waters, and completely insulated the northern half. Hence the inhabitants 
of these divisions were designated the North-folk and the South-folk, in reference to their 
relative positions, as living north or south of these sestuaries. 

Upon the final division of England into Tythings, Hundreds, and Shires, the territory 
of the latter people became Suffolk, nearly as now constituted. 

It is a maritime county on the eastern side of England, and is bounded on the north 
by Norfolk, from which it is separated by the streams of the Little Ouse and the 
Waveney. The spring-heads of these rivers, which Spelman calls the " disagreeing brethren," 
are not more than three yards asunder, and in times of great rains unite their waters. On 
the east it is bounded by the German Ocean ; on the south by the Stour, which divides 
it from Essex, and on the west by Cambridgeshire. It is included between 51 55' and 
52 38' north latitude, and 22' and 1 46' east longitude. Its greatest length is sixty-eight 
miles, measuring from Gorleston at the north-east, to the vicinity of Haverhill in the 
south-west; and from its north-west angle to Landguard Fort it extends about fifty-two 
miles. The area of the county is estimated at 1515 square miles. Arthur Young computes 
the superficial contents at 800,000 acres, but the aggregate of the parochial surveys gives 
918,760 acres. Its shape may be compared, not inaptly, to that of an ancient galley, 
of which the part about Gorleston represents the prow, and the crescent at Brandon, the 
poop. The projection at Newmarket, and the angle about Haverhill, form the rudder. 
VOL. i. a 


The sea-coast, which for some distance inland is for the most part sandy, presents a 
nearly regular convex outline to the ocean; of which Orford-ness and Lowestoft are the 
most prominent points. The latter is the most eastern headland in Great Britain. In 
consequence of this regular outline the bays are shallow. The most considerable of these 
are Hollesley and Southwold, or Sole Bay. The latter is an open roadstead, but the former 
affords tolerable anchorage for trading vessels, being protected from the south-east gales 
by a long bank of sand, called the Whiting. There is better riding for shipping in the 
small bays to the north and south of Lowestoft-ness, as these roads are defended from 
the violence of the sea by sand-banks, which dry at half ebb: the riding in the latter is 
so remarkably easy during gales from the north to the west, as to procure for it from 
seamen the name of Abraham's Bosom. It formed in ancient days the bay-like entrance 
to Lake Lothing. 

If the tradition be true, that the tailors of Dunwich could formerly sit in their shops 
and see the shipping at anchor in Yarmouth Roads, the coast-line of Suffolk, from Cove- 
hithe-ness on the north, to Thorpe, or perhaps to Orford-ness on the south, must have 
presented a curve, the very reverse of its present concave form; for to have obtained a 
view of vessels anchored there, Dunwich must have been at least six miles to the eastward 
of its present site. 

Though there is not an eminence in the whole county deserving the name of a hill, 
its surface may be described as gently undulating, and pleasingly diversified. If a small 
portion, called the Mildenhall Fens, and the rich meadows near its north-east border, 
be excepted, it may be considered as a succession of swells and depressions ; almost 
every little valley possessing its rill or ' beck ' hastening to unite its waters with some 
more important stream. The description of Reyce, who wrote his ' Breviary ' of Suffolk 
in 1618, and which remains in manuscript in the British Museum, is naive and correct. 
" This country," says he, " delighting in a continuall evenes and plainnes, is void of any 
great hills, high mountains, or steep rockes, notwithstanding the which it is not alwayes 
so low or flat, but that it is severed and divided with little hills easy for ascent, and 
pleasaunt ryvers watering the low valleys, with a most beautifull prospect, which ministreth 
unto the inhabitants a full choyce of healthful and pleasant situations for their seemly 

The rich effect produced throughout the greatest part of the county by hedge-row 
timber, and the high state of its farming, which approaches to the neatness of horticulture, 
are redeeming features in the landscape. There are some spots in the angle formed by 
the Stour and the Orwell, which, if not deserving to be classed as romantic scenery, possess 
a happy combination of wood and water, with hill and dale and verdant lawns, not 
frequently surpassed. 


A ridge of high table land, of a strong but fertile quality, commences at no great distance 
from Beccles, and crosses the county in an oblique direction by Halesworth, Stradbrooke, 
and Debenham, and proceeds to the south-west angle of the district. The tributaries of 
the Little Ouse and the Waveney rise from the north side of this line, while the streams 
which spring from its southern slope find their way to the Stour and other rivers, which fall 
into the ocean on the eastern coast. 

The climate of Suffolk is healthy, though the winters are cold, and the winds of spring 
sharp and piercing. But these are evils balanced by the absence of that humidity which 
prevails in the milder counties of the west. The average mortality of the county does 
not exceed one in fifty-four. 

There is not, perhaps, a county in the kingdom which contains a greater diversity of 
soil, or more clearly discriminated. A strong loam, on a clay-marl bottom, predominates 
throughout the greatest part of the county, extending from the south-western extremity 
of Wratting Park to North Cove, near Beccles. Its northern boundary stretches from 
Dalham by Barrow, Little Saxham, near Bury, Rougham, Packenham, Ixworth, Honington, 
Knottishall, and then in a line near the river which parts Norfolk and Suffolk, to Beccles 
and North Cove ; but every where leaving a slope and vale of rich friable loam adjoining 
the river, of various breadths. It then turns southward by Wrentham, Wangford, Blithford, 
Holton, Bramfield, Yoxford, Saxmundham, Campsey Ash, Woodbridge, Culpho, Bramford, 
and Hadleigh ; and, following the high lands on the west side of the Bret to the Stour, 
is bounded by the latter river, with every where a very rich tract of slope and vale from 
thence to its source. 

Such is the strong-land district of Suffolk, taken in the mass; but it is not to be 
supposed that it takes in so large an extent without any variation : a rule, to which are 
known few exceptions, is, that wherever there are rivers in it, the slopes hanging to the 
vales through which they run, and the bottoms themselves, are of a superior quality, in 
general composed of rich friable loams ; and this holds even with many very inconsiderable 
streams, which fall into the larger rivers. The chief part of this district would, in common 
conversation, be called clay, but improperly. Many of these strong loams have been 
analysed, and found abounding with more sand than their texture would seem to imply ; 
so that were they situated upon a gravel, sand, or chalk, they would be called sandy loams ; 
but being on a retentive clay-marl bottom, are properly, from their wetness, to be termed 
strong, or clayey loam. The district of rich loam being much less clearly discriminated, 
will leave more doubts on the minds of persons acquainted with it. From the river Deben, 
crossing the Orwell, in a line some miles broad, to the north of the river Stour, to 
Stratford and Higham, there is a vein of friable putrid vegetable mould, more inclined 
to sand than clay, which is of extraordinary fertility : the best is at Walton, Trimley, and 


Felixstow, where, for depth and richness, much of it can scarcely be exceeded by any soils 
to be found in other parts of the county, and would rank high amongst the best in 
England. As the position recedes northward to the line from Ipswich to Hadleigh, 
it varies a good deal; in many places it approaches to sand, and in some is much 
stronger, as about Wenham and Raydon : the general complexion, however, of the whole 
of Samford Hundred is that of good loam. 1 The greater part of the county is covered by 
diluvial beds. The exceptions are the crag and London clay district of the south-east, 
and the chalk district of the north-west. The chalk does not rise into high hills; the 
formation appears to extend under the diluvial beds, which occupy the centre of the 
county. The crag formation consists of thin layers of quartzose sand and comminuted 
shells, resting sometimes on chalk, sometimes on the London clay. Crag is a local name 
for gravel. Close examination has led to the subdivision of this deposit into the red 
and coralline crag : when the red and coralline crag are found together, the former is 
always uppermost, and distinguished from the coralline by the deep red ferruginous or 
ochreous colour of its sands and fossils. Its strata are also remarkable for the oblique 
or diagonal position of the subordinate layers ; and these often consist of small flat pieces 
of shell, which lie parallel to the planes of the smaller strata, showing clearly that they were 
so deposited; and that this structure has not been due to any subsequent re-arrangement 
of the mass after deposition. 

The fossil testacea found in the crag, amounting to upwards of four hundred species, 
are, some of them, common to both divisions; others are peculiar to one division, and 
characteristic of it. These fossils bear a general analogy to testaceous animals now existing 
in the Northern Seas, between latitudes 50 and 60, but whether any are identical with 
those now found in the adjacent German Ocean is matter of dispute. Lyell refers the 
crag formations to the older Pliocene period. The thickness of the crag is not known ; 
it has been penetrated fifty feet, near Orford, without reaching the bottom. 

That part of the district which lies between the Orwell and the Stour is, for the most part, 
occupied by the London clay alone. 2 

The navigable rivers of Suffolk are the Stour, the Orwell, the Aide, the Blythe, which 
now joins the sea at Southwold, though its ancient passage was by Dunwich, the Waveney, 
the Lark, and the Little Ouse. The two latter reach the sea at Lynn, but all the former 
fall into the German Ocean on the east coast of the county. 

The Stour, which is the most considerable river, rises from three sources; the first of 
which is near Kedington in Suffolk ; the second rises in Cambridgeshire, and the third in 
Essex. These rills unite about seven or eight miles from their respective springs, whence 

1 Yoan g- " Lyell. Conybeare. Phillips. 


the river throughout its entire passage divides the counties of Suffolk and Essex. Pursuing 
a winding course, it passes the towns of Clare, Sudbury, and Nayland; below which last 
place it receives the waters of a stream from Boxford, and a few miles lower those of the 
Bret, a considerable tributary; and, flowing onwards through the charming valley of Dedham, 
it reaches Manningtree and Mistley, where it suddenly expands into a noble sestuary, which 
at high water is from a mile and a half to nearly two miles wide. Its course is then about 
twelve miles in a direct line to Harwich, where it mingles with the German Ocean. Its 
entire course is upwards of fifty miles, and it is navigable by sea-borne vessels to Manningtree, 
and thence, by the aid of locks, by barges to Sudbury. 

The Gipping, which is the name of the upper course of the Orwell, is formed by the 
union of several streams, which, becoming confluent near Stowmarket, flow in a south- 
eastern direction by Needham to Ipswich. It here meets the tide, and, like its sister Stour, 
expands at once into an eestuary capable of floating sea-borne vessels of considerable burthen 
to the ocean. From Ipswich, where it assumes the name of the Orwell, its course is about 
ten miles, when, uniting with the Stour, their combined waters form the capacious and 
secure harbour of Harwich. This river was rendered navigable from Ipswich to Stowmarket 
in 1793, at an expense of a little more than 26,000. The distance somewhat exceeds 
sixteen miles. Many excellent mansions and noble parks adorn the Orwell, the banks of 
which are bold, and the scenery altogether delightful. 

The Aide rises at Brandish : it winds through a rich agricultural district by Dennington 
and Rendham to Stratford St. Andrew and Farnham, where it is crossed by the high road 
from Ipswich to Lowestoft. At Snape bridge, after having received Langford brook, and 
a smaller tributary from Saxmundham, it meets the tidal waters, and swells into a wide 
river: it then proceeds to Aldborough, and having reached within two hundred yards 
of the sea, in a direction due east, it at once abandons its purpose of forming a junction 
there, and bending suddenly to the south, runs parallel to the shore for about nine miles, 
being separated from the ocean merely by a narrow peninsula of pebbles. In its passage 
from Aldborough to its mouth in Hollesley Bay it passes the town and stately castle of 
Orford, majestic in decay, and receives the tributary waters of the Butley, which wash the 
site of the ruined Abbey of that name. 

A plan was submitted to Government, in the beginning of the present century, to connect 
the Aide with Hollesley Bay by a cutting near Orford-ness. The river was proved by 
soundings to be capable of floating seventy-four-gun ships at the lowest tides, and the 
utility of the scheme strongly insisted on, as there is no harbour for many leagues along 
the coast, of sufficient depth to receive large ships of war. It was abandoned, however, 
from an anticipation, probably, of the impossibility of keeping the entrance free from a 



The Deben has its source near the little town of Debenham, to which place, tradition 
asserts, it was navigable in Saxon times. At Brandeston it receives an augmentation to 
its stream, whence it flows to Wickham Market. It then reaches Woodbridge by a 
south-eastern course, and there widens into a channel from a quarter to half a mile in width. 
Its course thence is direct to the sea, which it reaches in about ten miles, being navigable in 
this part of its channel for vessels of considerable tonnage. 

The Blythe is navigable by small craft from Southwold to Halesworth. It rises at 
Laxfield, and, passing the Danish village of Ubbeston, intersects Heveningham Park, and 
flows by Walpole to Halesworth. Its course is not more than twenty miles. 

The Little Ouse rises at Lopham. It then flows westward for about fourteen miles 
to Barnham, where it suddenly turns to the north in its course to Thetford. It hence 
becomes navigable, and, passing onwards through a bald and barren country to Brandon, 
continues the boundary line between the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk to Sedge Fen, 
where it is lost in the system of the Greater Ouse. 

The Lark rises about five miles south-east of Bury St. Edmund's. It passes that 
charming town in its way to Fornham, where it becomes navigable by barges ; and, running 
into Cambridgeshire, is mingled with the ampler waters of the Great Ouse. Its entire course 
does not exceed eighteen miles. 

The Waveney rises in a meadow in the parish of Lopham, and, pursuing a tortuous course 
to the east, flows by Diss, Scole, Harleston, and Bungay. Here, taking a remarkable sweep 
to the north, it returns in the shape of a horse-shoe ; almost meeting the spot from which 
it diverged on reaching the town. From Bungay it becomes navigable to Yarmouth, a 
distance of about forty miles. From Beccles bridge it transports sea-borne vessels of a 
small class to the ocean by Oulton Dike and Lake Lothing, through an artificial cut near 
Lowestoft; the line of which was its ancient and principal mouth. At present the tides 
of the Waveney turn northward from Oulton Dike, and proceeding in a winding course, 
whose direction is first north-west, and then north-east, they wash the high banks over 
which frown the walls of Garianonum, and there become lost in the Yare, about four 
miles before it reaches Yarmouth bridge. Fritton Decoy, a beautiful lake about two miles 
long, whose lovely scenery deserves a more extended fame, discharges its superfluous waters 
into the Waveney just below St. Olave's bridge. A small feeder of the Waveney in its 
upper course rises near Mendlesham, and, passing the borough town of Eye, falls into its 
channel at Hoxne. This tributary is inconsiderable in extent and volume, but demands 
notice, as anchors and traces of ancient navigation have been discovered in its bed: a 
circumstance which seems to confirm the tradition that the valleys of the Waveney and 
the Little Ouse were once navigable throughout their entire course from Gorleston to Lynn. 
Abbo Floriacensis, a Benedictine monk of the tenth century, describes the town of Eye 


as then situated in the midst of a marsh ; and adds that the rivulet thence to the Waveney 
had formerly been navigable. Swindon, in his History of Yarmouth, relates, that so late as the 
year 1549, during the time of Kelt's rebellion in Norfolk, a small pinnace was prepared to 
convey twenty men up the Waveney, as far as Weybread, which, following the curves of 
the river, is twelve or fourteen miles higher than the limit of the present artificial navigation, 
and within four of the point where it receives the tributary stream from Eye. 

The meadows through which the Waveney meanders are amongst the most fertile in 
the kingdom. All these rivers abound in fish. In the Little Ouse are caught pike, chub, 
and eels, all of large size. The grey mullet is taken in the Aide in the greatest perfection. 
The Waveney produces eels of a delicate flavour, with pike, perch, and roach, in abundance. 
Smelts are taken in the season, and occasionally a salmon strays up its waters. In the 
year 1753 a sturgeon was captured on the flats above Beccles bridge, which weighed 
eleven stone two pounds, and measured seven feet eight inches in length. Another fish 
of this class got entangled in the nets of a fisherman, now living, not far below the same 
spot, but effected his escape before his astonished captor could secure him in his boat. 
The perch of the Waveney are unrivalled for the brilliancy of their colours, and occasionally 
attain a considerable weight. Six of these fish were caught near Worlingham Staithe, 
four miles below Beccles, by Henry Francis, Esq., of that town, on the 9th of August, 1844, 
which averaged three pounds each. One measured eighteen inches in length, five and a half 
in depth, and weighed three pounds and a half. It was what sportsmen term an empty fish, 
but had it been taken in full season, it would have weighed nearly five pounds. The eels 
are occasionally taken very large : the writer has caught them exceeding six pounds in weight. 
About thirty years since a pike was captured near Ellingham water-mills, and kept for a 
considerable time in a tank, as an extraordinary specimen. He here became so tame as 
to take small fry from the hand of his keeper. He weighed forty-four pounds. Lampreys 
of large size are not unfrequently taken in this river. 

The waters of the Waveney in its upper course are singularly brilliant and transparent. 
Every weed in its bed may be seen, even where the channel is deep, and the fishes may be 
discerned sporting in shoals. It may venture to vie, in this respect, with the Dove, so 
celebrated by Cotton, and the Author dares apply to it that poet's elegant lines 

" Princess of rivers ! how I love 
Upon thy flowery banks to lie, 
And view thy silver stream 
When gilded by a summer's beam ! 

And in it all thy wanton fry 

Playing at liberty : 
And, with my angle upon them, 

The all of treachery 

I ever learn'd industriously to try. 


Reyce enumerates among the produce of our rivers, besides the fish already mentioned, 
" trout, barbel, and crevises:" after speaking of these rivers and their peculiar adaptation to 
commerce, he says, " I must confess as all other earthly benefitts are accompanied with some 
incommodities, it is objected it (the county) lyeth open, and is ready for forreigne invasion, 
there bee so many havens, harbours, creeks, and other places of ready discent, that the 
enemy is soon entered; and this is more confirmed by the frequent proofe of the silly 
Dunkirkers, who, before the peace concluded between Spaine and England, robbed our 
shores, came into our havens, and carried away our loden vessels, rifling oftentimes whole 
townes. Butt that which is common to all other sea-bordering shires (as what shore is 
free from their insulting, audacious, and their furtive preying) ought nott here to be reckned 
as a perticuler incommoditie, neither may these furtive assaults with a more momentary 
returne bee reputed as a warlike invasion ; which whensoever it shall bee effected, by that 
time the invaders meet with our deep myrie soyle, our narrow and fowle lanes, our manifold 
inclosures, severed with so many deep ditches, hedges, and store of wood, bushes and trees, 
seeing the impassablenesse of this country with any materiall forces, albeit there were 
noe other meanes of resistance, they will have just cause to repent their rashness." 

Ipswich, the county town of Suffolk, is distant seventy miles from the General Post Office 
in London. Bury St. Edmund's, the second town in importance, is seventy-six miles from 
the same point, measured by the mail-coach road through Bishop's Stortford and Newmarket. 
Besides these towns, Suffolk contains the borough of Eye, and the lately disfranchised 
boroughs of Aldcburgh, Dunwich, Orford, and Sudbury ; and the market towns of Beccles, 
Bungay, Clare, Debenham, Framlingham, Hadleigh, Halesworth, Lavenham, Lowestoft, 
Mildenhall, Newmarket, Saxmundham, South wold, Stowmarket, and Woodbridge. The 
little towns of Bildeston, Blythborough, Botesdale, Brandon, Haverhill, Ixworth, Men- 
dlesham, Needham, Nayland, Wickham, and Woolpit, formerly possessed markets which 
are now discontinued. 

The mail-coach road from London to Norwich enters Suffolk at Stratford St. Mary, 
on the Essex border, passes through Ipswich, and thence runs northwards by Stonham to 
Scole. A branch at Ipswich diverges to the right hand, gradually approaching the sea-shore, 
by Woodbridge, Wickham Market, Saxmundham, Yoxford, and Lowestoft, and leaves the 
county at Southtown. 

A road also enters the county at Newmarket and proceeds to Norwich by Thetford. 
A line here, also, diverges to the right and unites with the mail-coach road from Ipswich 
to Norwich, near Scole, having passed through Bury St. Edmund's, Ixworth, and Botesdale. 

A road from London crosses the river Stour at Sudbury, and proceeds by Long Melford 
to Bury St. Edmund's. 

The principal cross-roads, which rival the highways of many counties in excellence, are, 


a line from Beccles through Halesworth and Bramfield into the Yarmouth and Ipswich 
mail-coach road at the ninety-sixth mile stone; a road, which, leaving the Norwich mail 
road at Claydon, branches to Needham, Stowmarket, Woolpit, and Bury ; and a road from 
Ipswich through Helmingham, Debenham, and Eye, which falls into the Norwich mail-coach 
road about two miles from the Norfolk boundary. A road also, of considerable traffic, runs 
from Lowestoft to Beccles, and thence proceeds through Bungay and Harleston to Scole. 
In 1844 a bill was obtained in Parliament for extending a line of railway, from the present 
termination of the Eastern Counties Railway at Lexden by Colchester to Ipswich ; which line 
is now in active progress. 

The Norwich and Brandon Railway will also enter Suffolk at the latter town, and pass 
through the north-western angle of the county. 

Suffolk is, happily, almost exclusively an agricultural district, and is, perhaps, one of 
the best cultivated in England. Farming implements of the most perfect kind are almost 
universally employed, and Agricultural Associations have been formed in various parts for 
the improvement of the breed of cattle, for the construction of agricultural implements, 
and the encouragement of good conduct in labourers and domestic servants. 

Suffolk possesses an indigenous breed of cattle ; these are of the polled kind, and of 
a fine red or brindled colour; the cows are in great repute as excellent milkers; and the 
quantity of milk yielded by one of them, is, on an average, from four to six gallons a day, 
though a Suffolk cow in the writer's parish has been known to give thirty-two quarts of milk 
per day, and of a good quality, for a considerable time after calving : but this is, no doubt, 
an extraordinary instance. The Suffolk cow is small in size, with a clean throat and 
little dewlap, a thin clean snake-like head, large carcass, and high hip-bones ; the udder 
large and loose, and the milk veins remarkably prominent. 

The Suffolk pigs are a prolific and profitable breed; they are well made, compact, with short 
upright ears, and mostly white : they are thickly covered with hair, and hardy in their nature. 

The horses of this county, widely known as Suffolk punches, are a valuable and docile 
race, remarkable for their unwearied exertions, and unrivalled at what is, provincially, 
called 'a dead pull.' They are middle-sized, very short made, and though low in the 
forehand, are active in their paces, and on the lighter lands of the county will draw a 
plough at the rate of three miles an hour. In many respects they resemble the little 
compact horses of Normandy, so much esteemed for their hardihood and constant readiness 
for labour. " Now for our horses of burden or draught," observes Reyce, " experience 
of long time teacheth us, how uncertain the proofe is of that which wee pay so dear 
for at other hands, causeth us to esteeme our owne home-bred the more, which every 
way proveth so well for our use and profitt, that our husbandmen may justly compare 
in this respect with any other country whatsoever." 

VOL. I. 


The breed of sheep most usually kept in Suffolk is a cross between the South-down and 
the Leicester. 

The dairy lands of Suffolk are by no means so extensive as formerly. Large tracts of 
old grass have been ploughed up, and converted into arable land. The quantity of butter 
still made is considerable, and a large supply of this is annually sent to the London 

Suffolk cheese is proverbially execrable, though Fuller 3 says, "most excellent cheeses are 
made herein, whereof the finest are very thin, as intended not for food but digestion." It 
must be presumed that the art of cheese-making has considerably declined in Suffolk since 
Fuller's days ; for it would be impossible to doubt the judgment of so keen an observer, 
whose accuracy is proved by his remarks on the "Suffolk fair maids." "It seemeth the 
God of Nature hath been bountiful in giving them beautiful complexions." 

Hops have been grown in Suffolk ever since the early part of the sixteenth century, 
though their cultivation lias never been carried to any great extent. " I may nott here," 
says Reyce, " next to the corne oniitt to speake of our hopps, which when they were first, 
perceived to delight in our soile, well was bee that could entertaine this plant." Bullein, 
who wrote his ' Bulwarke of Defence ' in the middle of that century, mentions their growing 
at Brousyard, near Framlingham, and in many other places. The same writer, in his 
'Government of Health/ observes, that "though there cometh many good hops from beyond 
sea, yet it is known that the goodly stilles and fruitful grounds of England do bring forth 
unto man's use as good hops as groweth in any place in this world, as by proof I know 
in many places of the countie of Suffolke, whereas they brew their own beere with the 
hops that groweth upon their own grounds." Tusser, who was a Suffolk farmer, gives full 
directions respecting their management in his 'August's Husbandry,' by which it would 
appear they were then more extensively cultivated than they are at present. A small extent 
of land is still employed in hop-gardens, in the neighbourhood of Stowmarket, and at 
Rushmere, near Ipswich. Mr. Cobbold, the proprietor of the hop-grounds at the last- 
mentioned village, has also a garden of about 23 acres at Foxhall. 

There are rabbit-warrens in the sand district about Thetford and Brandon, but these are 
neither so numerous or extensive as those on the opposite borders of Norfolk. At the 
latter town a warren is said to make an annual return of forty thousand rabbits, twenty 
rabbits per acre being the usual produce. 

Suffolk is one of the earliest enclosed counties in England : the system of tillage is very 
uniform throughout the district, and the greater part of the land is under the plough. Two 
Suffolk horses will plough an acre a day ; and nearly two on the sand-lands : the ploughmen 

a Worthies. 


are remarkably skilful, and prizes are frequently distributed among them for such as draw 
the straightest furrow. 

Besides all the common crops, carrots are grown on the sand-lands about Woodbridge, 
and rape-seed and hemp in the fenny district. 

The turkeys, and poultry in general, are but little inferior in size and flavour to those 
reared in Norfolk ; and game, in places, is very abundant. 

Various Hundreds in the county are incorporated by Act of Parliament, and have erected 
Union-houses for the maintenance of the poor : they manufacture netting for the fishermen, 
spin, and cultivate a few acres of land : they are well kept and managed, but have not 
lowered the poor-rates to the extent anticipated. The best managed are of an expensive 
tendency, and of equivocal effect, as to comfort and morality ; where badly managed, they 
are nurseries of idleness and vice. There is a Pauper Lunatic Asylum at Melton, near 

The manufactories of Suffolk are very inconsiderable. At Sudbury and Mildenhall are 
mills for silk and woollen goods; the latter being a branch of an extensive concern at 
Norwich. The manufactory of woollen cloth at Sudbury was introduced in the reign of 
Edward III., but after a time it gradually declined. Crape, and bunting for ships' flags, 
are made here. It is calculated that fifteen hundred persons are now employed in this 
town in the silk, and about four hundred in the crape and bunting business. Silks and 
velvets are made by hand-loom weaving at Glemsford. The combing and spinning of wool 
for the Norwich manufactories is also pursued in many parts of the county, but carried 
to no great extent. 

The manufacture of gun-flints at Brandon, which formerly employed sixty men, is now 
much reduced. 

Straw-plat for ladies' bonnets is made at Clare, Cavendish, Lavenham, Haverhill, and 
many places in the south-western part of the county. 

Woolpit is famous for its bricks. 

The herring fishery off the coast of Suffolk commences about the middle of September, 
and ends in the beginning of December. The boats used in this trade are decked vessels 
of about forty or fifty tons burthen, and lugger rigged. The favourite fishing-grounds are 
situated about thirteen leagues north-east from Lowestoft. The boats continue at sea till 
they have obtained a sufficient cargo to bring into the roads. Instances are on record, 
where a single boat, under circumstances of extraordinary success, has taken twelve or 
fourteen lasts in one night, of ten thousand herrings to the last, or the surprising number 
of one hundred and forty thousand fish. About fifty or sixty years since, Lowestoft employed 
not more than thirty or thirty-five luggers annually in this fishery. Their number has, 
however, vastly increased. Sixty-five vessels were so engaged in the season of 1844. 


Fishermen complain that the herrings are not so numerous on the 'grounds' as they 
were formerly; but it may fairly be questioned, if the increased number of boats, causing 
a smaller individual 'catch, 5 has not produced this seeming deficiency. The master of 
one of these boats reports to the writer, that though sixty-five luggers were employed in 
the autumn of 1844, that number was less by twelve than was engaged in the preceding 
season ; that no fishing vessels have been built at Lowestoft for nearly two years ; and 
that the returns are so bad, there is no prospect of any being built for some time to come. 
The sixty-five boats employed during the last season took on an average twenty-one lasts 
of herrings per boat. Mackarel fishing commences in May, and ends in July. The same 
boats and crews are employed in this service as in the herring fishery. The boats are 
attended by fast-sailing cutters ; and of late, by steam vessels, which collect the ' takings ' 
of the luggers, and convey them to Billingsgate. During a favourable season, one hundred 
thousand mackarel are carried to that market every week. These fish are also brought 
on shore by ferry-boats, and sold by auction on the beach, to the owners of vans, who 
convey them to Town with incredible speed by land carriage ; the success of this mode 
of trade depending entirely upon the quickness with which they are transported to 

Suffolk is included in the Norfolk circuit. The Assizes are held in the spring at Bury 
St. Edmund's, and in the summer at Ipswich. Quarter Sessions for their respective divisions 
are held at Beccles, Bury, Ipswich, and Woodbridge. There are county gaols and houses 
of correction at Bury and Ipswich ; county houses of correction at Beccles and Wood- 
bridge ; and borough prisons at Ipswich, Bury, Sudbury, Eye, Aldborough, Southwold, 
and Orfortl. 

The county is divided into twenty-one Hundreds, besides tha Liberty of the borough 
of Ipswich, viz., Babergh, Blackbourn, Blything, Bosmere and Claydon, Carlford, Colneis, 
Cosford, Hartismere, Hoxne, Lackford, Loes, Mutford and Lothingland, Plomesgate, 
Risburgb, Samford, Stow, Thedwestry, Thingoe, Thredling, Wangford, Wilford. 

These are subdivided into the ' Geldable portion,' in which issues and forfeitures are 
paid to the King ; and the Liberties of St. Ethelred, St. Edmund, and the Duke of 

The Liberty of St. Ethelred comprehends the Hundreds of Carlford, Colneis, Loes, 
Plomesgate, Thredling, and Wilford. 

That of St. Edmund includes the Hundreds of Babergh, Blackbourn, Cosford, Lackford, 
the Half-hundred of Exning, Risbridge, Thedwestry, and Thingoe. 

The Liberty of the Duke of Norfolk, which was granted to John Duke of Norfolk, and 
his heirs for ever, by letters patent, dated at Westminster, Dec. 7, 1486, includes several 
of his manors, for which he appoints a Steward and a Coroner, issues writs, and receives 


all fines and amercements. In Norfolk this Liberty is very extensive, but in this county 
it embraces only the manors of Bungay, Kelsale, Carlton, Peasenhall, the three Stonhams, 
Dennington, Brandish, the four Ilketshalls, and Cratfield. 

The Sessions for the two Liberties of St. Ethelred and St. Edmund are held at Wood- 
bridge and Bury respectively. The Liberty of St. Edmund returns a Grand Jury at the 
Assizes, distinct from that returned by the rest of the county. In the reign of King Stephen, 
it was proved by Sir Henry de Glanvil, that all pleas, suits, and actions whatsoever, 
concerning any person in the Liberties of St. Edmund, except the pleas of murder or 
treasure trove, belonged to the court of St. Edmund, and were to be tried by the Abbot 
of Bury, his Steward, or other officer appointed by him. The Marquis of Bristol is now 
Lord of this Liberty. 

The Geldable portion includes the Hundreds of Blything, Bosmere and Claydon, Hartis- 
mere, Hoxne, the two Half-hundreds of Lothingland and Mutford, Samford, Stow, and 

Suffolk formerly returned sixteen members to Parliament; but by the Reform Act, 
Orford, Aldborough, and Dunwich, were disfranchised, and Eye reduced to one member. 
Sudbury has since been deprived of its privilege, on the ground of bribery and corruption. 
The county now returns two members for the eastern, and two for the western division ; 
two each for the boroughs of Ipswich and Bury, and one for Eye : total nine. 

The polling places for the eastern division of the county are Ipswich, Needham, Wood- 
bridge, Framlingham, Saxmundham, Halcsworth, Beccles, and Lowestoft. 

For the western division the places of polling are Bury, Lavenham, Stowmarket, 
Wickham-brook, Botesdale, Mildenhall, and Hadleigh. 

The civil government, of the county is in the High Sheriff for the time being, who is 
annually appointed by the Crown, and presides at the Assizes, and other important county 
meetings. There was but one High Sheriff for the two counties of Norfolk and Suffolk 
until so late as the year 157G. 

The military and marine government of the county is entrusted to the care of the 
Lord Lieutenant, and who, as in the case of the late Duke of Grafton, is Vice-Admiral 
and Gustos Rotulorum. As Lord Lieutenant he is the locum tenens of the Crown, and 
its Viceroy. He has the power of commissioning all officers in the Militia, appoints the 
Deputy Lieutenants, and, as Custos Rotulorum, puts such gentlemen as are properly 
qualified into the commission of the peace, and has the custody of the rolls or records of 
the Sessions of peace. 



The principal fairs in Suffolk are 

Aldborongh, March 1, May 3. 

Aldringham, October 11, December 1. 

Barrow, May 1. 

Beccles, Whit Monday, July 11, Sessions, Octo- 

her 2. 

Bergholt, last Wednesday in July. 
Bildcston, Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday. 
Blythborougli, April 5. 
Botesdale, Holy Thursday. 
Boxford, Easter Monday. 
Boxted, Whit Tuesday. 

Brandon, February 14, June 11, November 11. 
Bricet, July 5. 

Bungay, May 11, September 25. 
Bures, Holy Thursday. 

Bun-, Easter Tuesday, October 2, December 1. 
Cavendish, June 11. 
Clare, Easter Tuesday, July 2G. 
Cowling, July 31, October 17. 
Cratncld, September 10. 
Debciiham, June 21. 
Dunwich, July 25. 
Earl Soham, July 23. 
Elmset, Whit Tuesday. 
Elmswell, November 1. 
Eye, Whit Monday. 
Felsham, August 16. 
Finningham, September 4. 
Framlinghiim, Whit Monday, October 11. 
Framsdcn, Holy Thursday. 
Glemsford, June 21. 
Gorleston, Whit Monday. 
Great Thurlow, October 10. 
Hacheston, November 12. 
Hadleigh, Whit Monday, October 10. 
Halesworth, Whit Tuesday, October 29. 
Hartest, April 23. 

Haughley, August 25. 

Haverhill, May 12, August 26. 

Hinton, June 29. 

Horringer, September 4. 

Hoxne, December 1. 

Ilundon, Holy Thursday. 

Ipswich, first Tuesday in May, May 18, July 25, 

August 22, September 25. 
Keddington, June 29. 
Kersey, Easter Monday. 
Lavenham, Shrove Tuesday, October 11. 
Laxfield, May 12 and 13, October 25 and 26. 
Lindsey, July 25. 
Lowestoft, May 12, October 11. 
Melford, Whit Tuesday. 
Mendlesham, Holy Thursday. 
Mildenhall, October 11. 
Nayland, October 2. 
Necdham, October 12 and 13. 
Newmarket, Whit Tuesday, August 24. 
Orford, June 24. 
Polstead, June 16. 

Saxuiundham, Holy Thursday, September 23. 
Snape, August 11. 

Sonthwold, Trinity Monday, August 24. 
Stanton, Whit Monday. 
Stoke-by-Clare, Whit Monday. 
Stoke-by-Nayland, February 25, Whit Monday, 

first Wednesday after Old May-day. 
Stowmarkct, July 10, August 12. 
Stradbrokc, third Monday in June, October 2. 
Stratford St. Mary, June 11. 
Sudbury, March 12, July 10, September 4. 
Thrandeston, July 31. 
Thwaite, June 30, November 26. 
Woodbridgc, April 6, October 11. 
Woolpit, September 6. 

Suffolk is in the province of Canterbury, and was formerly wholly included in the 
diocese of Norwich; but by an Act of Parliament, passed in the sixth and seventh of 
William IV., the Archdeaconry of Sudbury (except the Deaneries of Hartismere and 
Stow, now attached to the Archdeaconry of Suffolk,) has been transferred to the See 
of Ely. 

The Deanery of Blackbourn, formerly included in the Archdeaconry of Suffolk, was 
added to that of Sudbury at the time of the same arrangement. 

The Archdeaconry of Suffolk comprehends the sixteen Deaneries of Bosmere, Carlesford, 
Claydon, Colneis, Dunwich, Hartismere, Hoxne, Ipswich, Loes, Lothingland, Orford, Sam- 



ford, South Elmham, Stow, Wangford, and Wilford; including 348 cures, of which 198 are 
rectories, 80 vicarages, 55 perpetual curacies, and 15 chapelries. 

The Archdeaconry of Sudbury comprises the Deaneries of Blackbourn, Clare, Fordham, 
part of which is in Cambridgeshire, Sudbury, Thedwestry, and Thingoe; 174 cures, of which 
126 are rectories, 18 are vicarages, 19 perpetual curacies, and 11 chapelries. The total 
amount of cures in the county is, therefore, 522, viz., 324 rectories, 98 vicarages, 74 perpetual 
curacies, and 26 chapelries. But by the union of cures the number of benefices is greatly 
reduced. There are four peculiars in the county, the rectories of Hadleigh, and Monks 
Eleigh, and the rectory and vicarage of Moulton, belonging to Canterbury, and the rectory 
and vicarage of Freckingham, attached to the See of Rochester. Of these preferments, fifty- 
four are in the gift of the Crown, thirty-four in the patronage of Colleges, four in the gift of 
Corporations, four in the gift of the Parishioners, five, and one alternate, presentations in the 
Bishop of Norwich, three in the Dean and Chapter of Norwich, six in the Bishop of Ely, 
two in the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury, two in the Dean and Chapter of 
Canterbury, and the residue in private hands. 

The See of this Diocese was first fixed at Dumvich in Suffolk about the year 630, by 
Felix, a Burgundian priest, under the auspices of Sigebert, King of East Anglia. In 673. 
Bisus, the fourth Bishop, weighed down by age and increasing infirmities, 4 divided the diocese 
into two parts, one of which was to embrace Suffolk with its See at Dunwich ; and the other 
to be co-extensive with Norfolk, having its See at North Elmham. About the year 870, tin- 
two Sees were re-united by Bishop Wybred ; but Suffolk never after regained its Episcopal 

The Archdeaconry of Sudbury was erected in A. D. 1126, and the present Archdeacon is 
the Venerable George Glover, A. M., of South Repps. The Archdeaconry of Suffolk was 
instituted in 1127. The Venerable Henry Denny Berners, LL.B., of Woolverstone Hall, is 
the present Archdeacon, who holds Visitations at Ipswich, Wickham Market, Yoxford. 
Beccles, and Stradbrooke. 

The Rural Deans of this Archdeaconry are the following clergymen : 

Bosraere The Rev. R. Longe, and C. Shorting. 

Carlford W. Potter, and E. Moor. 

Claydon J. Bedingfeld, and W. Kirby. 

Colneis W. J. Edge, and H. EdgeU. 

Dunwich S. Clissold. 

Soutli Elmham E. A. Holmes. 

Hartismere Lord Bayning, and R. Cobhold. 

Hoxne . E. Barlee. 

4 Godwinus. 


Ipswich The Rev. R. Mosley. 

L^ Lord T. Hay, and G. Attwood. 

Lothingland F. Cunningham, and C. Green. 

Orford H. T. Dowler, and J. D. Money. 

Samford R- Berners, and E. Gould. 

Stow A. G. Hollingsworth, and C. Bridges. 

Wangford A. I. Suckling. 

Wilford \V. P. Larken, and E. Walford. 

The population of Suffolk, according to the census of 1841, was 315,073, of which 
154,095 were males, and 160,978 were females; giving an excess of 6883 females over 
males, or 1045 females to every 1000 males. The same return shows that there were in 
Suffolk 208 inhabitants to every square mile, and 4'9 inhabitants to every house. 

The average amount of rates per pound, levied in the county in 1841, was 2s. 9d. 

The number of criminal offenders was 4S2, or 1'5 in every 1000 inhabitants. 

The increase of population between 1831 and 1841 was 6'3 per cent.; and the increase 
of inhabited houses, in the same period, was 27'7 per cent. 

There were 574 houses being built at the time of the last return. The total annual value 
of real property in Suffolk, in 1841, was 1,297,956, and the annual value of land 912,062, 
giving an average annual value of land per acre of 18*. 9d. 

The summary of the returns of the amount of money levied, &c., and expended for the 
relief and maintenance of the poor, and for other purposes, during the year ending March 25, 
1 843, for the county, was as follows : 

Amount levied by assessment ...... 182,059 

Received from other sources in aid of the poor-rate . . 4,397 


Expended iu relief, &c., of the poor 139,919 

Expended in law charges ....... 1,293 

Amount of fees paid to vaccinators ..... 1 65 

Outlay for register and certificate books .... 2 


The number of persons who emigrated in the year 1843 was seventeen, of whom four 
embarked for South Australia, and the remainder proceeded to Canada. 5 

The county contained in 1839, 281 miles of turnpike road, and 3235 miles of other 
highways, embracing an area of 1515 square miles. 

' Poor Law Commissioners' Report, 1844, p. 584. 



According to the Reports of the Charity Commissioners, there are annual funds amounting 
to 3991, applicable to the purposes of education. The income of endowed schools is 
2972, and a sum of 1018 is for educational purposes in schools not endowed. 

The number of boarding-schools in 1833 was fifty-eight. 

The state of the elective franchise in 1839-40 was as follows : 




Freeholders of every class .... 




Copyholders and customary tenants . 




Leaseholders, for a term, or for life . 




50 Tenants at will 




Trustees and mortgagees .... 
Qualified by offices 




Joint and duplicate qualifications . 







The principal historical events connected with this district, during the period of Roman 
domination, were, the revolt of the natives in the year 51, which was speedily quelled by the 
activity of Ostorius Scapula ; and the insurrection of the Iceni, to revenge the wrongs of 
Boadicea and her daughters. This formidable rising, which had well-nigh extirpated the 
Roman power in Britain, was crowned with brief success. The native valour of the Iceni 
was unable to cope with the discipline of their opponents in a protracted warfare. The 
Royal family perished, the British chieftains were swept away, and their lands allotted to 
the conquerors. A vigorous administration of military government succeeded; numerous 
and important stations arose throughout the province, connected by solid and well-con- 
structed roads ; and the people passed into slavery and bondage. 

The principal Roman road entered the county from Londinium, at the modern Stratford 
St. Mary's, on the Essex border, and, running northward towards Needham Market, left 
Ipswich on the right hand. It probably fell into the present mail-coach road to Norwich 
at Greeting : the names of the parishes of Stonham are there indicative of its course. It 
pursued its way by Yaxley, and, crossing the Waveney at Billingford, passed by Wacton, 
the Saxon wake (i. e. watch J town, Long Stratton, and Taseburgh, and terminated at the 
station of Venta Icenorum, now known as Caistor, by Norwich. It would appear that this 
road was not completed by the Roman soldiers without molestation; for the ancient name 
of Billingford, and under which it is recorded in Domesday Book, was Preleston: from- 
VOL. i. c 



which we may infer that some severe contest (prselium) had taken place at this ford, between 
the Romans and the natives. 

A vicinal way stretched from Taseburgh to Blythborough. It crossed the river Waveney 
into Suffolk at Bungay ; proceeded by Spexhall, where, for a considerable distance, it retains 
the name of Stone Street; and, leaving the Halesworth road at the point called Broadways, 
ran through Holton, and onwards to Blythborough. 

From the direction of certain lanes and driftways, now leading to bare heaths only, it 
seems likely that a branch of this 'Way' pursued its course to Dunwich, the Dommoc 
ceastre of King Alfred. 

The Ickneild Street crossed the corner of Suffolk from Thetford to Newmarket. 

A military road also intersected the south-west angle of the county, from the neigh- 
bourhood of Haverhill towards Cambridge. 

A Roman way also crossed the entire county in a south-east direction from Thetford, 
by Ixworth, Woolpit, and Bildeston, to Stratford St. Mary ; and the names of Norton Street, 
Fen Street, and Low Street, which occur on its line, plainly indicate its route. It also 
passed Stowlangtoft, where the remains of Roman castrametation are yet visible. This 
road is most probably the continuation of the well-known Peddar Way, which, proceeding 
from Brancaster and Hunstanton, in Norfolk, runs in a direct and still well-defined course, 
by Castle Acre and Swaffham ; and, stretching across the dreary and bald heaths of Cres- 
singham and Bodney, passed the clear and sparkling stream at Stanford, and then ran by 
Thetford to Ixworth, whence its route has been defined. A direct and unimpeded com- 
munication was thus opened from Londinium and Camulodunum to the extreme northern 
shore of the kingdom of the Iceni. The direction of this entire line from Stratford to 
Hunstanton is singularly direct; and it is altogether a remarkable route, whether we regard 
its extraordinary length,' which exceeds 70 miles, or consider its undeviating course. It 
is not a faint emblem of the energy of the wonderful people who constructed it, whose 
plans of universal dominion crushed every impediment of distance, opposition, or danger. 
By it they were enabled to transport heavy-armed troops and military engines to at least 
six important stations in Icenia, Stratford, Brettingham, Ixworth, Thetford, Castle Acre, 
and Brancaster. 

A road is also conjectured to have extended from the Waveney, near Lopham Ford, 
through Ixworth to Bury. On this line we detect at the present day, the two villages 
of Stanton, and a place called Up-street Lane. In all probability this was a branch from 
Taseburgh, which seems to have been the recipient of a vast number of roads which convened 
at it in their course to Venta Icenorum. 

A road ran from Dunwich, or Aldborough, perhaps from both, through Sibton, where 
a portion of it exists, in an extremely perfect state, just to the north-west of the Abbey 



grounds. It stretched thence towards the Waveney, which it crossed near Harleston, and 
led onwards to Taseburgh. 

From the direction of existing lanes, it is evident that a branch of this road diverged 
at Sibton or Peasenhall, and, directing its course by Baddingham, Dennington, and Soham, 
fell, at Pettaugh, into the long lane now called Stone Street, where it pursues a straight 
line for nearly four miles, and, passing Coddenham, joined the great road already mentioned 
as bisecting the county from Stratford to Billingford. This route afforded a communication 
from London, through Stratford, to the principal stations in the eastern parts of Suffolk. 

A road must have run from Dunwich to the Ad Ansam, through Burgh, near Wood- 
bridge, though it is not now to be followed with exactness. Traces of it appear in the 
name of Stratford, a village near Saxmundham, where it passed the river Aide. 

These numerous roads, which thus spread over Suffolk like so many arteries in the 
system of Roman subjugation, terminated at strong fortresses, and afforded expeditious 
means of communication with the intermediate stations. 

Of the stations themselves, scarcely one in the county is identified beyond doubt; their 
exact locality being still a subject of discussion. We may, however, be allowed to exercise 
our speculation; and possibly, like men groping in the twilight, may occasionally stumble 
on the objects of our search. In the ninth Iter of Antoninus we read thus : " A venta 
Icenorum Sitomago. M. P. xxxi. Cambretonio. M. p. xxn. Ad Ansam. M. p. xv." 

If we follow the line of Roman road, as just detailed, from Caistor to Colchester, by 
the route of Thetford, Brettenham, and Stratford, we shall find the respective distances 
of these modern towns to coincide in a very remarkable degree vrith the measurement 
of Antoninus ; allowing the difference between the Roman and the English mile. Thus 
from Caistor to Thetford is, by the old Roman route, 26 English, or, as we see above, 
31 Roman miles. Now, as a Roman mile contained only 1614 yards, or -^ths and ^th 
of an English statute mile, the variation between the ancient and modern measurement is 
brought to about three miles. So, again, Cambretonium is placed by Antoninus at 22 Roman 
miles from Sitomagus, and Brettenham is about 20 from Thetford. Cambretonium is 
15 of Antoninus's miles from Ad Ansam, and it is about 14 English miles from Brettenham 
to Stratford, measured in a straight line, as the Roman roads were constructed. The 
coincidence of these respective admeasurements, and the similarity of sound between 
Cambretonium and Brettenham, which is too remarkable to be passed unnoticed, are argu- 
ments as to the site of these three stations, which, if they do not carry conviction, are 
decidedly superior to any which controversy may prefer in favour of other localities. 
To place Sitomagus at Dunwich, or at Easton, which is almost undoubtedly the e^o^rj, 
or extensio of Ptolemy, and thus make Burgh by Woodbridge the Cambretonium, is 
objectionable ; for, besides that the distances do not so well accord with the Iter, it seems 


inconsistent with military practice to march troops so much along the sea-coast, in preference 
to passing them through the heart of the province. Camden and Dr. Gale are firm in 
fixing Cambretonium at Brettenham. Horseley and Gale would fix Sitomagus at Woolpit, 
and Ad Ansam at Witham in Essex ; but such an arrangement involves the Iter in inex- 
tricable difficulty. 

If the Iciani be in Suffolk, sound would lead us to place it at Ixworth, undoubtedly 
a Roman station ; but this claim is strongly advocated by some for Ickburgh in Norfolk. 

The Villa Faustini has been placed at Yaxley : perhaps Bury St. Edmund's is its true 

The Garianonum, mentioned in the Notitia Imperii, is almost universally fixed at Burgh 
Castle, by Yarmouth; but surely its only claim to this locality is its situation on the 
banks of the Yare, the Gariensis of former days; as no situation could be worse chosen 
fjpr the evolutions of cavalry. 

Roman earth-works may be traced at Burgh by Woodbridge, at Lidgate, at Blythborough, 
Bungay, Ilaughley, and Stowlangtoft. At Pakenham, midway between Ixworth and Bury, a 
tessellated pavement has been dug up ; and at Wenham, at Felixstow, and in the vicinity 
of Bury, Roman antiquities of various descriptions have been discovered. 

If, in examining these widely-extended, and not faint traces of the arts and the arms of 
our Roman conquerors, we have to lament the ravages of time, or still more, perhaps, of 
wanton neglect, they reflect, notwithstanding, in no ordinary degree, the warlike spirit of 
our aboriginal ancestors, which required these numerous strongholds to subjugate their 
power, and curb their doubtful allegiance ; and they attest the fidelity of that portrait which 
Tacitus has drawn of their military gallantry : " Iceni, valida gens, nee pneliis contusi." 6 
That they were an unpolished people is unquestionable; for human nature, distant from 
the arts of civilization, and the refinements of social life, is always, more or less, sunk in 
barbarity; but many discoveries of recent days have rendered it doubtful whether they 
were so rude and savage as Caesar has described them, and we may fairly question if he 
has not degraded them, to exalt his own triumphs. 

At what period the Romanized Iceni were first subjected to the predatory attacks of 
the Saxons is uncertain. Cerdic, one of the earliest Saxon invaders, landed in 495 on the 
eastern coast of Suffolk, probably near Lowestoft; and after gaining a few inconsiderable 
advantages over the natives, withdrew his forces, and set sail for the western shores of 
the island. But the appointment of a military chieftain by the Romans, who was designated 
from the place of his command, Comes littoris Saxonici, which embraced the coasts of 
Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Kent, leads to a supposition, not unsupported by several 

8 Tac. Ann. lib. xii. 31. 


facts in local history, that the Saxons had gained a permanent settlement on our eastern 
shores, before the recall of the Roman legions from Britain. If such be the fact, their 
immigration was probably consequent on the revolt of Carausius, about the year 280. 
This chieftain commanded the Roman fleets in the North Seas, against the Saxon and 
Frankish pirates; but being urged by his ambition to assume the Purple, he coalesced 
with his lawless adversaries, employed them in his fleets, and, assisted by their valour 
and naval skill, bade defiance to the power of the emperors. The numerous estuaries 
on the eastern coast, which were at that time capable of receiving such armaments, were, 
of course, well known to Carausius, as High Admiral of these seas; and must have been 
now frequented by his piratical allies, even if they had been previously ignorant of their 
shelter. The broad channel of the Gariensis, now shrunk into the muddy shallow Breydon, 
and the waters of Lake Lothing, then an open haven, united their mighty tides, and formed 
one capacious port. At a period when the naval warfare of Britain was carried on, for 
the most part, against the piratical hordes of the North and the East, the importance of 
such a harbour could not have been overlooked. Here might the fleets of the usurping 
Admiral brave every tempest ; and issuing hence, they rode triumphant on the seas. 

Upon the subversion of the brief sovereignty of Carausius, many of the smaller Roman 
fortresses were raised on the coast to repress the incursions of the Saxons, who, harboured 
by the settlers brought in by Carausius, succeeded, in spite of the most vigilant precautions, 
to gain ground in the locality. Hence, on the abdication of Britain by the Romans, the 
contests maintained against the new invaders were neither severe nor protracted. 

The ancient province of the Iceni daily witnessed the arrival of fresh bodies of the 
roving Saxons and Angles ; and while the other States of Britain were struggling against 
the inroads of their rude invaders, the Saxon power became sufficiently consolidated here 
to lead forth an aggressive host to the banks of the Rhine, and compel the recreant Prince 
of the Varnians to fulfil his vows plighted to a Saxon princess. The province was finally 
erected into the independent kingdom of East Anglia by Uffa, about A. D. 5/1. 

A succession of petty wars with the neighbouring States succeeded this event; during 
which East Anglia appears, gradually, to have receded from power. Redwald, the wisest 
and most powerful of her kings, and the only one who enjoyed the dignity of Bretwalda, is 
said to have kept his court at Framlingham, where he founded a castle. 

Sigebert, to whom the East Anglians owe the establishment of Christianity, was slain 
in battle by Penda, King of Mercia, one of the fiercest tyrants that ever filled a throne. 
Egric, and Annas, the succeeding monarchs, fell by the same sword. The battle, which 
proved fatal to Annas and his son Ferminus, was fought in the year 654, at Bulchamp, 
near Blythborough, where the unsuccessful monarch and his son were buried. In 792 
Ethelbert was treacherously murdered by Ofla, King of Mercia, who annexed East Anglia 


to his own dominions ; which supremacy its inhabitants were unable to shake off till the 
year 823. 

The fate of Edmund, familiar to us as the patron Saint of Bury Abbey, deserves a more 
extended detail. This prince was distinguished, in those days of violence and oppression, 
for his virtue and piety. In 870, Ingwar, a Danish chieftain, landed in East Anglia, and 
ravaged it with unprecedented ferocity, Thetford was pillaged and burnt, and its inhabitants 
violated and slain. Edmund, who was at Eglesdune, (now Hoxne,) in Suffolk, when these 
atrocities were committed, led an army against the invaders, whom he encountered near 
the scene of their brutalities. A desperate engagement ensued, which lasted from morning 
until evening, great numbers being slain on both sides. The Danes quitted the field of 
battle, and King Edmund retired with the remains of his army to Hoxne, "resolving," says 
the chronicler of Bury Abbey, "never more to fight against the Pagans, but, if it was 
necessary, to yield up himself a sacrifice for the people, and for the faith of Christ." Ingwar, 
mad with defeat, recruited his forces, and followed Edmund to Hoxne, where the latter was 
worsted, and fled. Hiding himself, says a tradition yet current in that village, beneath a 
little bridge, which still bears the name of Gold Bridge, he was discovered, by the glittering 
of his golden spurs, to a newly-married couple, who were returning by moonlight to their 
home. These votaries of Hymen shame upon their heads betrayed their monarch to 
the Danes. Edmund, as they dragged him from his hiding-place, indignant at the treachery, 
pronounced a malediction upon all who should afterwards pass this bridge on their way 
to be married; and no bride and bridegroom have been bold enough to venture on the 
forbidden path from that day to this. Edmund was put to death with circumstances of 
great cruelty, and buried at Hoxne. But miracles having been wrought at his tomb, his 
bones were afterwards removed to Bury, and canonized. Here their miraculous powers 
were more actively developed, and procured for the Abbey its wealth and distinction, and 
for that beautiful town its present appellation. 

Eleven mounds of earth, on the Suffolk side of Thetford, in the parish of Barnham, 
are the enduring monuments of St. Edmund's encounter with Ingwar, and mark the site 
of this sanguinary battle-field. 

The next important event in the early annals of East Anglia is its colonization by the 
Danes, who were planted here after their defeat by King Alfred, in the year 879. The 
frequent occurrence, among Norfolk and Suffolk families, of the names of Rolfe, Ladbrook, 
Hammond, Sego, Alpe, Goodrum, Tirketil, &c., is consequent on this immigration. Guth- 
rum, the Danish chieftain, was baptized, with his followers, and remained faithful to his 
spiritual vows, and his allegiance to Alfred, until the day of his death. He was buried at 

Upon the subsequent invasion of England by the Danes, the most patriotic and effectual 


resistance was offered to their inroads, in East Anglia ; where, from the circumstance just 
narrated, it was least to have been expected. But the want of unanimity and co-operation 
among the Saxon Thanes led to the final triumph of the assailants. During these 
sanguinary contests, Ipswich was plundered by them in 991, and again desolated in 993, 
when its fortifications were destroyed. In the spring of the year 1010 a fearful battle 
was fought in the neighbourhood of Ipswich, which proved equally calamitous to that town, 
and the arms of the East Anglians. Ulketil, their chieftain, was defeated, and the govern- 
ment transferred to Turketel, a Danish commander, who assumed the title of Earl of East 

During the mild but feeble administration of Edward the Confessor, Suffolk became 
a separate Earldom, and was bestowed by him on Gurth, the brother of Harold, who fell 
by the side of that monarch at the battle of Hastings, valiantly defending the Saxon 

Besides the dignity of the Earldom, the possessions of Gurth in this county must have 
been large; for the number of persons recorded in Domesday as having held estates under 
him is very considerable. The decisive battle of Hastings produced a revolution in the laws, 
the manners, and the interests of England, the influences of which have not yet passed away. 
One of the principal of these changes was the almost total confiscation of the Saxon estates, 
and the substitution of new lords. In parcelling out these possessions, the conqueror 
bestowed above six hundred manors in Suffolk upon his followers, who held them as great 
tenants in capite. Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, William Warren, Earl of Surrey, William 
Malet, Lord of Eye, Jeflfery de Mandeville, Richard Fitz-Gilbert, Earl of Clare, Hugo de 
Montford, Roger Bigot, and Ralph Baynard, obtained enormous grants. Robert Moreton, 
Odo, Earl of Albemarle, Euclo de Rie, Robert de Todeni, Robert de Stafford, Alberic de 
Vere, Robert de Limesi, Hugh de Grantmesnil, Peter de Valoines, Swene de Essex, Roger 
d'Auberville, and Robert le Blund, acquired considerable estates. 

Of these twenty puissant chieftains, who thus entered on the lands of the dispossessed 
Saxons, the history is very remarkable ; and in tracing the respective fortunes of themselves 
and their descendants, if the reader question the immediate interference of retributive justice, 
he must, at least, acknowledge the emptiness of sublunary honour, and the mutability of 
earthly possessions. Eudo de Rie died without an heir male. The sons of three were 
banished the realm. The grandson of Swene de Essex, standard-bearer to Henry II., 
was deprived for cowardice. The line of three became extinct in the persons of their sons : 
three became extinct in the male line, in the third generation, and totally in the seventh 
or eighth two were extinct in the fourth : one in the fifth ; two in the sixth generation, 
and one in the ninth. The line of Alberic de Vere, however, after various forfeitures, 
misfortunes, and violent deaths, continued till the beginning of the eighteenth century, 


when it was extinguished in the person of Aubrey de Vere, who died without issue male 
in 1702. Robert de Stafford is represented through the female line by the descendant 
of the more ancient Dane. Robert de Todeni merged in female heirs in the seventh 
descent, and is represented, like the great Earl Warren, through female heirs only, by the 
house of Howard ; but not one of them has left his name among the noble and the great. 
Had a persecuted Saxon seer predicted to these proud barons in the day of their triumph 
this complete, and in many instances, speedy annihilation of their fortunes and their race, 
his prophecy had been received with a scornful laugh; but what had been the indignation 
of the Norman, could he have known that the line of many of these dispossessed and despised 
Saxons should flourish in wealth and honour, ages after his own lineage was lost and 

King Stephen entered Suffolk with an army during his contests with the adherents 
of the Empress Maud, when he laid siege to Ipswich, which he took in the year 1153. 
Hugh Bigod, supporting the cause of the rebellious children of Henry II. against their 
father, brought the miseries attendant on this unnatural contest into the county of Suffolk. 
A body of Flemings, headed by the Earl of Leicester, landed at Walton, near Ipswich, where 
they were joined by Bigod. These mercenaries were encountered on the banks of the Lark, 
near Bury St. Edmund's, by the King's army under the command of Richard de Lacy, and 
totally routed. Above ten thousand of the Flemings were slain. The scene of this fearful 
carnage is pointed out by several tumuli, which may be seen on the right-hand side of 
the road leading from Thetford to Bury, about a mile beyond Rymer House. Seven of these 
tumuli are conspicuous for their size and height, and have given name to the spot. They, 
probably, cover the bodies of the commanders, and the most considerable persons among the 
slain. A gold ring, belonging to the Countess of Leicester, and supposed to have been lost 
by her in her flight from this scene of her husband's disastrous conflict, was found a few 
years ago in cleansing the river. Human bones, broken arms, and fragments of armour, are 
also occasionally discovered in the vicinity. 

" Agrieola, incurvo terram molitus aratro, 
Exesa inveniet scabra rubigine pila : 
Aut gravibus rastris galeas pulsabit inanes, 
Grandiaque effossis mirabitur ossa sepulehris." 

GEOBG. i. 494. 

Richard I. visited Suffolk on his return from Palestine, to pay his devotions at the 
shrine of St. Edmund at Bury; when he presented the royal standard of Isaac, King of 
Cyprus, to that monastery. It was at Bury that the first meeting between John and the 
Barons was held to adjust the national grievances, and to procure the signature of Magna 
Charta. Parliaments were held at Bury by Henry III. and Edward I., and in 1446 a 



parliament was convened there for the purpose, it is thought, of effecting the destruction of 
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. But these are subjects of general, rather than of local 

In the reign of Richard II., when the vast preparations were made at Sluys for the 
invasion of England, the coast of Suffolk presented a watchful scene. Twelve hundred and 
eighty- seven ships, according to Froissart, were assembled for this expedition in the opposite 
harbours of Sluys and Blanckenburgh. The Earls of Stafford and Pembroke were sent 
to Orwell 7 with five hundred men at arms, and twelve hundred archers ; Sir Henry, and Sir 
Faulx Percy, to Yarmouth, with three hundred men at arms, and six hundred archers. 
Watchmen were posted on all the hills near the sea-coasts opposite to France and Flanders. 
" The manner of posting these watchers was as follows : they had large Gascony casks filled 
with sand, which they placed one on the other, rising like columns : on these were planks, 
where the watchmen remained night and day on the look-out. They were ordered, the 
moment they should observe the fleet of France steering towards land, to light torches and 
make great fires on the hills to alarm the country, and the forces within sight of these fires 
were to hasten thither." l 

When the agitation subsided, which had been caused by this threatened invasion, popular 
insurrections of a formidable character manifested themselves throughout England. In 
Suffolk, the insurgents amounted to above fifty thousand men. In 1381, they seized the 
person of Sir John Cavendish, Lord Chief Justice of England, and murdered him at Bury. 
Sir John Cambridge, the prior of that Abbey, was also beheaded by them. Their riots were 
at length quelled by the valour of Spencer, the martial Bishop of Norwich, and their forces 
totally dispersed. 

In 1486, Suffolk was visited by Henry VII., who made a progress through it, to confirm 
the loyalty of the inhabitants, on the expected invasion of Lambert Simnel, who had assumed 
the name of Edward Plantagenet, and threatened a landing on the eastern coasts. Risings of 
a similar nature to those just detailed again took place in the county, when Kett's insurrec- 
tion occurred in Norfolk during the reign of Edward VI. This spirit of insubordination 
manifested itself chiefly in the island of Lothingland, where the rioters assembled in great 
numbers, and committed various acts of violence and aggression. Notwithstanding a defeat, 
which they sustained at the hands of the men of Yarmouth, they succeeded in joining Kett 
on Mousehold Heath. Among other causes assigned by the rioters for this rising, the 
principal one alleged was the inclosing the commons and waste lands of the counties. 

Upon the decease of Edward VI., his sister Mary first displayed her standard as Queen of 
England at Framlingham Castle, where she was speedily joined by the Suffolk and Norfolk 

> Query, Orford. * Froissart. 

VOL. I. & 


gentry in great numbers. Sir John Sulyard, of Wetherden, Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Sir John 
Shelton, Sir William Drury, Sir John Tyrrell, Richard Freston, Esq., and Sir Thomas Corn- 
wallis, the High Sheriff for the Counties, were the foremost in her cause. Her forces 
speedily amounted to above 13,000 men, and hence she marched in triumph to London. 
The county participated in the miseries soon after inflicted on the nation by this bigoted 
queen and her ministers. Dr. Rowland Taylor was burnt at Hadleigh in 1555, for his 
adherence to the reformed church. The place of his martyrdom is a high and bleak spot, 
marked by a plain substantial column. Above twenty persons are recorded to have suffered 
at the stake in this county. Several were burnt at Ipswich, Bury, and Laxfield ; and three 
were committed to the flames at Beccles in a most summary manner, without the warrant of 
Council. 9 

Queen Elizabeth visited Suffolk in her magnificent progresses, and sailed down the Orwell 
in great state, attended by the corporation of Ipswich. 

Upon the threatened invasion of England by the Spanish Armada, Suffolk was eminent 
in loyalty, and sent a gallant assemblage of Knights and Gentlemen to augment the army 
encamped at Tilbury. These were " all choice men, and disciplined, and singularly 

Sir William Waldegrave, Knight, had in his band 500 men. 

Sir William Spring, Knight 500 men. 

Sir Nicholas Bacon, Knight 500 men. 

Sir John Ileigham, Knight 500 men. 

Robert Foorde, Esq 500 men. 

Two thousand men were left in the county to " defend the inland with the ports and the 
landing places." 

Sir Robert Wingficld, Knight, had in his band 500 men. 

Sir Philip Parker, Knight 500 men. 

Sir Robert Jermyu, Knight 500 men. 

Sir Thomas Barnadiston, Knight 500 men. 

In August, 1599, Suffolk sent eighty-one horsemen and horses into Essex, near London, 
for the defence of the Court " against secret purposes intended." 10 

In 1635, during the reign of Charles I., the county of Suffolk was rated at 8000 for the 
support of a ship of 800 tons, manned with three hundred and twenty seamen. This sum 
was afterwards reduced to 6400, but even this the Sheriffs could not collect, through 
the alleged inability of the inhabitants to pay it. 

The following are some of the returns : 

' Fox. 10 Revce. 


" Barsham, May 6th, 1640. 

" Charles Suckling, Esq re ., his answer is that he doe not refuse to paye, but he have no 

Then follow twenty-eight names of inhabitants. 

" All thes ther answers ar a like, and furthermore thaye saye, that if the constable plese to 
leve uppon ther goods he Maye. JOHN MUSKIT, Constable. 

"The some chargid upon Barsham is 17- 3. 10, whereof collected 26 s , and 2 pence. 
" Shaddingfield was rated at 21. 1. 1^, divided among twenty-one persons. Thomas 
Robinson, Clerk, paid for the tythes he leateth out to his P'ishioners 14 s . 10. ^. Francis 
Cuddon, Gent. 2. 10. 0. 

" Shipmeadow was rated at 8. 11. 11, divided among thirty persons, whose names 
are mentioned. Tho". Whall, Clerk, was rated 5 s . 0. John Harborne, Esq r . 18 s . 6. Robert 
Fox, 2 s . 

" The answer was, ' Wee finde our selfes unable, beinge the most Parte of us poore 
fearmers, by reason of the greate Taxations wch wee formerly hadd by the settinge forthe 
of souldiers with other chargis.' Complayninge still they have noe mony, neither can gett 
any for commodities which they have. ' These thinges considered, we humblye crave yo r 
woreshippe to be exempted and discharged.' By RICHARD FIRBANCKE, Constable. 

" The Hamlett of Bungay Boysecott have not yett made a rate, and the constables name 
is Robert Goodale, but he can neyther write or reade. The Hamlett abovesayd is to paye 
23. 14. 8. Richard Battle, a chief constable of the Hundred. 

" Loving Partner, I know not whether the High Sheriffe doe expect the Somes charged 
uppon those townes that have not made rates, but in the Warrant it is not expressed. If 
neede require, I praye enter my Limitt in my returne thus : 

. s. d. 
Shadingfield ........ 21 1 1 

Cove ......... 13 6 6| 

Satterley ......... 18 18 3 

Worlingham ........ 17 12 41 

Ellough ......... 15 3 4i- 

Willin : cum Hulverstreete .... 1 7 1 3| 

103 3 

The answers from Ellough are as follow : 

" Christopher Weste, clerk, saith he hath not the money. Tho s . Love, Gent. ; Lyonell 
Seaman, Gent., and ten others return the same answer. John Love, Gent., saith further, his 
reason is, because he hath many Comodyties by him made of his Fearme, but cannot come to 
any sale for them. Will: Whitlesham doe returne the veray same answere. William 
Bardwell doth further protest he cannot paye it although he should be sent to the Gaile. 


Nicholas Pecke, Gent., an outdweller, his answere is that he must save his money to pay the 

King his Subsidyes. 



The names of persons refusing to pay the tax in Bungay, are given to the number of 
one hundred and twenty, of whom some answer that the " charges to there Towne where they 
live is soe great, that as yet they have no money to paie it ; this is there hole answere : 
others say, Tradinge is so deade that they have noe money; they would they had it to pay it 
very willinglye." Others declare " the want of the poore in there Towne is soe great, that as 
yet they have noe moneye to paie." Others, " that in Tradinge times are soe hard that they 
can skerslie mayntayne there charge and Famylie." Others give no answer, and are not to be 
spoken with. The Constables thus sum up their return. "The whole Towne of Bongaie 
within the Burrowe is of Tradesmen, and tradinge soe fayle, and the Towne soe pore for want 
of Tradinge, that it is a generall complaynte in the whole Towne, not without just cause, as 
the Tradesmen find by Experience, willing to paie, but not able to performe it." 

The High Constables of the Hundred, in their general return, certify, " that the reasons 
why the Shipp monyes is not as well paid now (1C40) as in former yeares is, that the 
Inhabitants are not able to paye the monyes charged upon them, being much impoverished 
by the fourmer Payments for Shipping, lying for the most parte upon Fearmers for the 
Landes in their Occupacon, whereas the Landlords, and other the most able and wealthyest 
men, pay but little for ther grete estats, for wch they have formerly used by way of subsedye 
to beare the greater parte of the charge upon the county : and likewise, that Tradinge is soe 
deade, and chese, butter, corne, and all other ther comodyties doe yield soe little price, 
as that they are not able to live, and pay their Rents." 

The volume concludes with a very pathetic letter, praying from the Crown a remission 
of the sum which cannot be collected. 11 

Suffolk being one of the associated counties for the maintenance of the Parliament 
against Charles I., was placed under the command of the Earl of Manchester, and thus 
in great measure escaped the horrors of civil war, at the expense of its loyalty. A few 
cavaliers, however, endeavoured to secure the county for the King, but Cromwell surprised 
them at Lowestoft, which he entered in 1643, at the head of one thousand cavalry, and, 
seizing several of the most active loyalists, sent them prisoners to Cambridge. This bold 
proceeding of the usurper is thus recorded in the parish registers of Lowestoft. "March 14, 
1643. Col. Cromwell, with a brigade of horse and certain foot, which he had from 

Hart. MSS. 



Yarmouth, came to this town, and from thence carried away prisoners Sir Edward Barker 
and his brother, Sir John Pettus, Mr. Knight of Ashwellthorpe, Mr. Catline, Capt. Ham- 
mond, Mr. Thomas Cory, with others, to Cambridge, and with these myself, (Rev. Jacob 
Rous, Vicar,) Mr. Thomas Allen, (afterwards Admiral Allen,) Mr. Simon Canham, and 
Thomas Canham of this town." 

In 1644, Suffolk was harassed and disgraced by the visit of Matthew Hopkins, of 
Manningtree, in Essex, the self-styled witch-finder general ; who, having received a commission 
from Parliament can it be credited ? to perform a circuit through the associated counties, 
entered Suffolk for the discovery of witches. Armed with his powerful 'commission,' 
he inspected many towns, receiving twenty shillings from every place he visited. Sixty 
poor decrepit wretches were put to death by him in one year in this county, forty of whom 
suffered at Bury. Butler alludes to this demon's performances in 'Hudibras.' 

" Has not this present parl'amcnt 
A ledger to the devil sent ; 
Fully empower'd to treat about 
Finding revolted witches out ? 
And has not he, within a year, 
Ilang'd threescore of 'em in one shire ? " 

Part ir. Canto in. line 139. 

Dr. Hutchinson, in his 'Historical Essay on Witchcraft,' page CG, tells us, "that the 
country, tired of the cruelties committed by Hopkins, tried him by his own system. They 
tied his thumbs and toes, as he used to do others, and threw him into the water, where 
he swam like the rest." 

During the reign of Charles II., two obstinate engagements were fought off the Suffolk 
coast, between the Dutch and the English fleets. The first of these battles took place off 
Lowestoft, on the 3rd of June, 1GG5. 

The English fleet was commanded by the Duke of York, afterwards James II. Under 
him were the impetuous Prince Rupert, and the gallant Earl of Sandwich. Cornelius Van 
Tromp was the Admiral of the Dutch. The forces were pretty equally balanced ; each fleet 
consisting of about one hundred ships of war, and a few smaller vessels. After an obstinate 
battle the Dutch were defeated, with the loss of eighteen ships taken, and fourteen sunk 
or burned. The English lost only one ship. 

The second encounter took place off Southwold, on the 28th of May, 1672, and is 
popularly remembered in Suffolk as ' Sole Bay Fight.' The fleets of England and France 
were on this occasion combined; the former consisting of sixty-five, and the latter of 
thirty-five, men-of-war. The Duke of York was again in command. The Dutch fleet 
under De Ruyter was composed of ninety-one ships of war, and some smaller vessels. 
The battle again proved obstinate, but, unlike the former brilliant encounter, indecisive. 


The brave Earl of Sandwich was killed, and above two thousand officers and seamen slain. 
The English lost six ships of war; of which two were burned, three sunk, and one taken. 
The Dutch lost only three ships of war, but a number of their smaller vessels were 
destroyed. As the States-General prohibited an official return of the killed and wounded 
in this action, it may be inferred that the loss of the Dutch was unusually severe. The 
brunt of this action was sustained by the English, as the French are charged with having 
hung back at the onset, Count D'Etrees, their Admiral, having received private instructions 
to that effect from his Government. The French, however, lost two ships ; and their 
Rear-Admiral was killed. The combatants were parted in the darkness of the night, during 
which the Dutch sheered off with their disabled fleet. The shattered state of the English 
squadron prevented pursuit. 

In 1782, during the pressure of the American war, the patriotism of Suffolk convened 
a meeting of its principal inhabitants at Stowmarket; where it was agreed to raise a sum 
of money, by subscription, sufficient to build a ship of seventy-four guns, to be presented 
to Government. At the close of the year, it was found that only 20,000 had been assured, 
but as the general peace followed soon afterwards, the subscribers were never called on 
to fulfil their engagements. 

On the 14th of January, 1736, George II. landed at Lowestoft, on his return from 
Hanover. When the royal barge, with his Majesty, the Countess of Yarmouth, and the 
Lords in attendance, approached the shore, a body of sailors belonging to Lowestoft, 
uniformly dressed in seamen's jackets, waded into the sea ; and meeting the barge, took it 
on their shoulders, with the King, and all the nobility ; and carried it to the beach without 
suffering it to strike the ground. 12 His Majesty proceeded to London, after remaining in 
Lowestoft about two hours, and was received at Ipswich with a congratulatory address 
from the Corporation of that town. 

George IV., when Prince Regent, paid a visit of some days to the Marquis of Hertford, 
at Sudborne, near Orford, on a shooting excursion ; but he never entered Suffolk after he 
ascended the throne. 

The Earldom of Suffolk was granted by William the Conqueror to Ralph de Guader, who 
forfeited it, with his other honours, by rebelling against him. It was afterwards conferred on 
Hugh Bigod, by King Stephen ; and on the extinction of his line, was given to Robert de 
Ufford, who was created Earl of Suffolk in 133?. It became again extinct on the death of 
his son, in 1382. This was the first family, since the Norman Conquest, that held it distinct 
from the Earldom of Norfolk. 

" Gillingwater's ' Lowestoft.' 


The honour was next conferred by Richard II. on Michael de la Pole, whom he raised to 
the Earldom on the 6th of August, 1385. It was connected with the various forfeitures and 
re-grants of that family, as a Dukedom, till its final extinction in the person of Edmund 
de la Pole, who was heheaded in. the year 1513, and attainted; leaving no issue male. The 
title of Suffolk, as a Dukedom, was re-granted by the capricious Henry VIII. to his brother- 
in-law, Charles Brandon, and once more became extinct in the person of his son, Henry 
Brandon, who died in 1551, without issue. Henry Grey, Marquis of Dorset, having married 
Frances, daughter of Charles Brandon, by Mary Tudor his wife, sister to Henry VIII., was 
created Duke of Suffolk in 1551, but being beheaded and attainted for his designs on the 
Crown, in favour of Lady Jane Grey, the title was again lost by forfeiture. It then continued 
dormant till the reign of James I., when Thomas Howard, Baron Howard of Walden, 
youngest son of Thomas Duke of Norfolk, was created Earl of Suffolk on the 21st of July, 
1603, with whose heirs and descendants it has ever since continued; but the Dukedom has 
never been revived. 

The Norfolk and Suffolk round steeples have been the subject of much discussion. They 
were long popularly ascribed to the Danes, and Mr. Britton, in his Essay on the Architecture 
of the Anglo-Saxon period, countenances this opinion. He says, " the round towers attached 
to churches in Norfolk and Suffolk, the district of East Anglia, have been attributed, with 
some appearance of probability, to the Danes. As examples of architecture, they are 
certainly devoid of science, or beauty in design ; and the masonry is of the very rudest, and 
most unskilful kind. They may fairly be referred to an age of barbarism ; and no period of 
the English annals is more entitled to this appellation than that of the Danish, under the 
reigns of Canute, Harold, and Hardicanute." 13 Mr. Gage, an acute and accurate antiquary, 
is far from according with this writer. He observes, "that the Danish dynasty subsisted in 
Northumbria, as fully as in East Anglia ; yet not a single example of the round tower will 
be met with between the Humber and the Tweed." " Instead of finding," he continues, 
"this rude and doubtful character, I saw pure Norman architecture, or the circular style, 
highly finished in some, and plainer in others, until it became more or less mixed with the 
English, or Pointed : and with surprise I found the early pointed style prevalent in a great 
many. There was but one tower, which I conceived might reach higher in antiquity than 
the twelfth century, and that one not being earlier than the Norman time. None could 
properly be said to be doubtful in the date of their construction ; though some so mutilated 
and altered, that the original character was lost." 14 The truth, perhaps, here, as in most 
disputed cases, lies in the middle course. Mr. Britton could not have examined these 
singular structures with any thing approaching to careful investigation, or his judgment 

11 Essay prefixed to ' Architectural Antiquities,' p. 74. M Archseol. vol. xxiii. p. 10. 


would never have assigned any great number of them to the Danish or Saxon period. 
And yet there are a few which challenge the accuracy of Mr. Gage's position, that "none 
rank higher in antiquity than the twelfth century." The tower of Cranwich Church, a 
village situated a few miles north of Brandon, possesses characteristics decidedly Saxon. 
The windows, of which there are but four, and those in the bell stage, are small and circular, 
and deeply splayed both within and without. These apertures contain twisted tracery, not 
unlike that in the tower of Barnak Church, in Northamptonshire. The whole air of this 
steeple differs so materially from the general appearance of these circular structures, as to 
have drawn an observation upon its peculiarity, even from so careless an investigator of 
ecclesiastical architecture, as the continuator of Blomefield's Norfolk. He says, "This 
tower is of great and venerable antiquity, built in the reign of the Danish kings, and probably 
by Harold, King of England, of whom a free man held a moiety of this town in the time 
of Edward the Confessor." 15 

The tower of Taseburgh Church, built within the lines of the Roman encampment there, 
is ascribed by Mr. Gage to a period little subsequent to the Norman Conquest. This is 
altogether a remarkable structure : freestone, and dressings of every kind, are absent through- 
out its entire fabric. It may enter the lists and challenge controversy as to its exact era, 
which is, perhaps, half a century or more, higher than the one assigned. 

An examination of the interior of the round tower at Bungay will amply repay the 
curious in these pursuits. It has a singular triangular arch in the eastern face of the inner 
wall, abutting upon the apex of the roof of the nave; and the character of the stones 
employed in its masonry differs both in quality and size from those usually selected for 
our circular towers. 

By far the greater number, however, of these structures are unquestionably Norman; 
but some are as late in their style as the reign of Henry III.; and very few are dubious 
in their character and construction. Their masonry may be described as consisting of 
rough and whole flints laid in very tenacious mortar. In some of the later examples thin 
bricks are introduced in their interiors, and in a few cases the flints are broken ; and the 
squared faces laid outwards with considerable attention to regularity. They rise on an 
average to the height of fifty or sixty feet, upon a diameter of fifteen or sixteen ; the 
thickness of the walls, in most cases, occupying the greater half. Their peculiar construction 
can only be ascribed to the resources of the district, which abounds with holders, or rolled 
stones, but is altogether deficient in quarries whence squared stones might be obtained, 
so essential to the corners of rectangular buildings. 

There are several churches in Suffolk, portions of which lay claim to Saxon antiquity, 

16 Blomefield's Norfolk, Art. ' Cranwich.' 


as the tower of Flixton, near Bungay, and a ruined church not far distant, which retains its 
ancient appellation of the Minster. 

Norman architecture is of very frequent occurrence in the Suffolk churches: here, in 
many examples, a low ponderous square tower rises between the nave and the chancel, 
sometimes accompanied with transepts, and very frequently terminating at the east end 
in a semicircular apse. The most curious of these is the chancel at Fritton, by Yarmouth. 

It is very remarkable, that while the Domesday Book records only one church as 
then existing in Cambridgeshire, and none in Lancashire, Cornwall, or Middlesex, three 
hundred and sixty-four are enumerated in Suffolk. Fuller 16 tells us that the churches of 
Suffolk are all humble fabrics ; but such an assertion proves an ignorance of his subject. 
What is to be said of those glorious structures at Lavenham, Melford, Bury St. Edmund's, 
Hadleigb, Framlingham, Southwold, Lowestoft, Beccles, and Blythborough a fabric splendid 
even in decay ! These, and others, are all so many examples of grandeur in design, and 
consummate skill in execution. Several of them display almost unparalleled specimens of 
open wooden roofs, which, borne aloft by figures in busto, or occasionally, as at Bury, by 
effigies in full proportion, exhibit a singular combination of boldness, picturesque effect, 
and geometrical skill. Despite the wear and tear of centuries, and the yet more hurtful 
botching of unskilful restoration, they put to shame the paltry imitations of modern design 
and carpentry. 

There is a fine specimen of a wooden porch at Boxford, of the fourteenth century ; 
and in the timber roof of that of Chevington, some of the beams bear marks of the dog-tooth 
moulding, which refer it to a century earlier. 

Suffolk is unhappily not free from examples of modern church building, those 
plague-spots of architectural beauty. Should the stability of these structures transmit them 
to posterity, which is greatly to be questioned, they will furnish to the pupils of a reviving 
school, remarkable monuments of deficiency of taste, and ignorance of architectural 

Of the ancient monastic buildings, in which Suffolk was once so prolific, the remains 
are few, and not generally imposing. The gate-houses of Bury Abbey are the foremost 
exceptions to this assertion ; on the elegance and solidity of which fancy rebuilds the Abbey 
Church in all the grandeur of majestic elevation and tasteful decoration beseeming that 
wealthy establishment. The traces of foundation walls, and a breadth of western front, attest 
its vast extent, which few of our cathedrals rivalled ; and of which old Fuller says " the sun 
never shone on fairer." At Sibton are some shattered walls of the conventual church : at 
Butley is a gate-house, rich in heraldic sculpture ; and Bungay presents some mouldering 

" Worthies. 
VOL. I. 


but picturesque remains of former splendour. The chapel of the Augustines, at Clare, is 
converted into a barn. The spacious crypts at Herringfleet have lately been degraded into 
cottage residences. Among others, whose crumbling walls reflect faint tokens of former 
grace, a rather striking fragment is visible at Leiston. 

Of castellated architecture more perfect specimens remain. Orford, with its polygonal 
Keep, 90 feet in height, recalls the stern magnificence of feudal days. Framlingham, a mere 
shell, frowns on the spectator, a still proud fortress. Wingfield, with its turreted gateway, 
is more entire, but less picturesque. The massy ruins of the castle of Bungay still remind 
us of the turbulent period in which its lord could bid defiance to the Crown ; and Mettingham, 
with less of desolation, stands a proud monument of the noble families of Ufford and Nor- 
wich. But Suffolk is especially rich in examples of domestic architecture. Helmingham, 
embosomed amidst " its tall ancestral trees," Hengrave, Melford, Kentwell, Parham, Flixton 
with its deep glades and sportive deer, the very paragon of old English mansions, 
Wenham, Roos Hall, &c., are here briefly noticed as a few of her memorials of the taste and 
hospitality of a race whose descent will carry us to the highest period of authenticated 




Falco albicilla, Cinereous Eagle, Pennant. Mention is made by Yarrell of a pair of these birds having 

been trapped on a rabbit warren in this county, and in 1840 a very fine female was killed at Benacre, 

the seat of Sir Thomas Sherlock Gooch, Bart. 
Falco Haliseetus, Osprey, Penn. This bird is rather scarce ; but a few instances have occurred of its 

capture in Suffolk. 
Falco Islandicns, Gyrfalcon, Penn. Very rare ; according to Yarrell, six only of this species have been 

killed in England. One specimen taken on Bungay Common, and preserved by W. C. Edwards, is 

now in the possession of John Cooper, Esq., of North Cove. 
Falco peregrinus, Peregrine Falcon, Penn. Frequently seen along the sea-coast, but seldom obtained, on 

account of its great swiftness ; the adult rare ; one specimen in the collection of Mr. T. M. Spalding, 

of Broonie, near Bungay. 
Falco subbuteo, Hobby, Peun. A summer visitor, scarce and difficult to procure. A fine bird killed at 

Flixtonin 1839. 

Falco ^Esalon, Merlin, Penn. Rarely met with adult. 
Falco Tinnunculus, Kestrel, Penn. 
Falco palumbarius, Goshawk, Penn. A rare species in England. Yarrell mentions a fine adult taken in 

Suffolk in 1833. In January, 1841, a beautiful male was shot by Mr. T. M. Spalding at Benacre, 

and is now in his collection. 
Falco nisus, Sparrowhawk. 

Falco milvus, Kite, Penn. Formerly plentiful in wooded districts, but now rarely seen. 
Falco buteo, Common Buzzard, Penn. As in the instance of the Kite, this bird is now scarce. An old 

male was shot by Mr. Spalding in the spring of 184 1 at Benacre. 
Falco lagopus, Rough-legged Buzzard, Penn. Rare; two killed at Benacre in 1843. Also one shot at 

Westleton by S. A. Woods, Esq., 1843. 
Falco apivorus, Honey Buzzard, Penn. Very rare ; one in the possession of Mr. Spalding, killed at 

Gorleston in 1841. 
Falco amiginosus, Moor Buzzard, Penn. Scarce ; famous for beating rush-marshes and low lands in 

search of birds and reptiles ; and destructive to partridges in turnip-fields. 
Falco cyaneus, Hen Harrier, Penn. In its adult or blue plumage rare. Very destructive to game ; two 

beautiful females killed at Benacre in 1844. 
Falco hyemalis. Ash-coloured Falcon, or Montague's Harrier. A male in Mr. Spalding's possession was 

shot by him in 1842 at Benacre. It is considered scarce in England. 


Strix bubo, Eagle Owl, Penn. Extremely rare, but Mr. Yarrell mentions it as having been taken in 


Strix otus, Long-eared Owl, Penn. Thinly dispersed, frequenting plantations of spruce firs. 
Strix brachyotos, Short-eared Owl, Penn. Common in October on the coasts. 
Strix stridula, Tawny Owl, Penn. 

" Communicated by Mr. T. M. Spalding, of Broome, near Bungay. 



Laiiius excubitor, Great Shrike, Perm. Rare, three specimens killed iu 1839, and two in 184-4. 
Lanius collurio, Red-backed Shrike, Penn. 
Lanius rutilus, Woodchat Shrike. Very rare. 


Muscicapa grisola, Spotted Fly-catcher, Penn. 

Muscicapa atricapilla, Pied Fly-catcher, Penn. Has been noticed in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. 


Turdus ciuclus, Water Ouzel, Penn. Rare; killed in 1844, and in the possession of Sir E. Bowater, 

Sotterley Hall. 

Turdus Torquatus, Ring Ouzel, Penn. Two shot by Mr. Woods at Westleton in 1840. 
Oriolus galbula, Golden Oriole, Penn. Rare ; a female killed at Barsham Hall in 1818 by Mr. Spalding, 

and preserved by Mr. Crickmore, of Beccles. 


Sylvia CEnanthe, Wheat-ear, Penn. Summer visitor to our downs and commons. 
Sylvia locustt'lla, Grasshopper Warbler, Penn. 
Sylvia arundinacea, Heed Warbler, Penn. 
Sylvia sylvicola, Wood Warbler, Penn. Shot at Benacre, 1844. 


1'arus hiarmicus, Bearded Titmouse, Penn. Frequenting the beds of reeds near the sea-roast. 


Ampelis gnrrulus, Waxen Chatterer, Penn. These birds visit this country at distant periods only. 


Kmberi/.a glarialis, Snow Bunting, Penn. It frequents the coasts of Norfolk and Suffolk, and is occa- 
sionally found inland. Mr. Balls killed five at Hingsfield in 1835. 


Fringilla montifringilla, Bramble Finch, Penn. 
Fringilla montana, Tree Sparrow, Penn. 
Fringilla spinus, Siskin, Penn. Autumnal visitor. 

Fringilla linaria, Lesser Hedpole, Penn. Not uncommon, and breeds occasionally : this occurred in 1844. 
Fringilla montana, Mountain Linnet or Twite, Penn. 

Linaria canescens, Mealy Redpole, Penn. This pretty bird is rather rare, and is not generally known. 
Loxia coccothraustes, Haw Finch, Penn. Rare; killed near Flixton Hall, 1840. 
Lo\ia curvirostra, Crossbill, Penn. 

Turdus roseus, Rose-coloured Ouzel, Penn. Mr. Hoy has recorded one killed at Woodbridge, July, 1832. 


Con-us corax, Raven, Penn. 


Picus Major, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Penn. 

Picus Minor, Little Spotted Woodpecker, Penn. It has been shot in Flixton Park. 
Yunx Torquilla, Wryneck, Penn. Summer visitor. 


Upupa epops, Hoopoe, Penn. Rare ; killed at Roos Hall in 1831. 



Coracias garrula, Roller. Very rare. John Cooper, Esq., possesses a bird shot at North Cove, and 

beautifully preserved by W. C. Edwards, of Bungay. 
Merops Apiaster, Bee-eater, Penn. Mr. Yarrell mentions one killed at Beccles, in the spring of 182;"), in 

the possession of the Rev. R. F. Howman. 


Alsedo ispida, Kingfisher, Penn. 


Caprimulgus Europeus, Nightjar, Penn. The locality frequented by these birds is extensive heaths and 
moors bordering on woods. 


Otis tarda, Great Bustard, Penn. Still occasionally found at Icklingham. 

Otis tetrax, Little Bustard, Penn. Very rare. 

Otis oedicnemus, Thick-kneed Bustard, Penn. To be found on the waste lands at Covehithe and Dumvirh 

Common, yearly. 
Charadrius morinellus, Dottrel Plover, Penn. 


Ardea caspica, African Heron, or Purple Heron, Penn. Mr. Hoy has in the ' Magazine of Natural Historv' 
for 1837, vol. 10th, stated that a Purple Heron was shot in 1835 near the mouth of the \Voodbricl-< 

Ardea stellaris, Bittern, Penn. 

Ardea Nicticorax, Night Heron, Penn. 

Ardea ciconia, White Stork, Penn. Killed at Mildenhall, 1830. 

Platalea leucorodia, Spoonbill, Penn. Seen at Easton Broad, in 1835. 

Scolopax totanus, Spotted Snipe or Spotted Redshank, Penn. Rare visitant. One shot on the Poor's 

Marsh, Covehithe, 1844. 
Tringa glareola, Wood Sandpiper, Penn. Rare. A specimen killed at Easton Broad in 1844 by Mr. 

Scolopax glottis, Greenshank, Penn. This bird is sometimes seen on the salt-marshes about Covehithe 

and Easton Broad, where Mr. Spalding has shot it. 

Recurvirostra avosetta, Avoset, Penn. Now very rare ; has been killed at Orford and Easton Broad. 
Scolopax lapponica, Red Godwit Snipe, or Black-tailed Godwit, Penn. But seldom obtained ; Mr. 

Spalding has shot it at Easton Broad, the celebrated resort of wildfowl, belonging to Sir 

T. S. Gooch, Bart. 

Scolopax cegocephala, Godwit Snipe, Penn. Visits the eastern coasts in its annual migrations. 
Scolopax Major, Great Snipe. Rather rare. 
Tringa islandica, Red Sandpiper, or Knot, Penn. 
Tringa pucilla, Little Sandpiper, or Little Stint, Penn. 
Tringa Temmiuckii, Temminck's Stint. Rare ; killed at Easton, 1843. 
Tringa maritima, Purple Sandpiper, Penn. Rare; shot at Easton Broad, 1840. 


Gallinula porzana, Spotted Gallinule, Penn. 

Crex Baillonii, Baillon's Crake, Selby. In the catalogue of the birds of Norfolk and Suffolk, published 


in the 15th vol. of the ' Transactions of the Limwean Society,' the Authors say, " We have met with a 
specimen of this bird in the collection of Mr. Crickmore, of Beccles, which was shot near that town." 


Anas segetum, Bean Goose, Penn. Winter visitor. 

Anas albifrons, White-fronted Goose, Penn. 

Anas erythropus, Bernicle Goose, Penn. 

Anas bernicla, Brent Goose, Penn. 

Anas cygnus, Wild Swan, Penn. 

Anns Bewickii, Bewick's Swan, Selby. Rather rare. Mr. T. M. Spalding shot a specimen at Dunwich 

in IS.'iS. 
Anas rutila, Ruddy Goose, Penn. Rare. Mr. Yarrell says, "In January, 1834, a specimen was shot at 

Iken, near Orford, on the coast of Suffolk." 
Anas Tadonia, Shieldrake, Penn. 

Anas clypcata, Shoveller Duck, Penn. This handsome duck has been known to breed at Benacre Broad. 
Anas *trcpcra, Gadwall, Penn. Rare. 
Anas acnta, Pintail Duck, Penn. 
Anas querquedula, Gargany, Penn. Rare. 

Anas fusca, Velvet Duck, Penn. Mr. Hoy procured this bird in Suffolk. 
Anas inarila, Scaup Duck, Penn. This bird has been killed at Easton. 
Anas fulignla, Tufted Duck, Penn. Ditto. 

Anas glacialis, Long-tailed Duck, Penn. Yarrell says, " It is considered a rare bird, but has been killed 

on the coasts of Kent, Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk." 
Anas clangiila, Golden Eye, Penn. 
Mergus albellus, Sinew, Penn. Rare in adult plumage. 
Mergus scrralor, Red-breasted Merganser, Penn. 
Mergus merganser, Goosander, Penn. Sometimes obtained in hard winters. 


Podiceps cristatus, Great Crested Grebe, Penn. To be found on the Broads, particularly those which are 


Podiceps rubricollis, Red-necked Grebe, Penn. 
Podieeps cornutus, Selavonian Grebe, Penn. Rare. 

Podiceps auritus, Eared Grebe, Penn. Very seldom seen, particularly in adult plumage. 
Colymbus glacialis, Great Northern Diver, Penn. A bird of this kind was seen on Easton Broad by 

Mr. Rudd. 
Colymbus septentrionalis, Red-throated Diver, Penn. 


Una troile, Foolish Guillemot, Penn. 
Alca alle, Little Auk, Penn. Rather rare. 
Alca arctica, Puffin, Penn. 
Alca torda, Razor-bill, Penn. 


Pelecanus bassanus, Gannet, Penn. Sometimes seen in stormy weather. 


Sterna Boysii, Sandwich Tern, Penn. Summer visitor. 


Sterna Dougallii, Roseate Terii, Penn. Orford. 

Sterna fissipes, Black Tern, Penn. 

Larus fuscus, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Bewick. 

Larus argentatus, Herring Gull, Bewick. 

Larus marinus, Great Black-backed Gull, Penn. 

Larus glaucus, Glaucous Gull, Bewick. Rare. 

Larus cataractes, Skua Gull, Penn. Rare. 

Larus parasitacus, Arctic Gull, Penn. Rare. Mr. Spalding shot this gull in 1841 at Easton. 

Procellaria pelagica, Stormy Petrel. 


Trifolium suffocatum. On the grassy part of the sea-beach, Gorleston, Alclborough, &c. 
Urtica pilulifera. Lowestoft. 
Chenopodium olidum. Ditto. 
Asphidium spinulosum. Fritton Decoy. 

cristatum. Ditto. 

Althsea officinalis. Marshes about St. Olave's Bridge. 
Eryngium campestre. Beach, near Dunwich. 
Euphorbia paralia. Ditto. 

Veronica spicata. Bury St. Edmund's. 

triphyllos. Near Bungay. 

verna. Thetforcl and Bury. 
Crocus vernus. Harleston. 

reticulatus. Barton, near Bury. 
Digitaria sanguinalis. Ilenham. 
Poa bulbosa. Lowestoft. 
Spartina stricla. Aldborough. 
Holosteum umbellatum. Bury. 
Asperula cynauchica. Ditto. 
Centunculus minimus. Near Lowestoft. 
Sagina maritima. Southwold. 
Anchusa sempervirens. Walpole, near Halesworth. 
Cyclamen hedcrifolium. Bramfield. 
Anagallis cserulea. Saxham. 
Viola hiata. Near Bury. 
Erythrsea pulchella. Lowestoft. 
Thesium linophyllum. Bury. 
Chenopodium urbicum. Gorton. 

botryoides. Lowestoft. 

Salsola frnticosa. Southwold. 
Chserophyllum sativum. Near Halesworth. 
Coriandrum sativum. Ipswich. 


Linum angustifolium. Darsham. 

Leucogium aestivum. Little Stonham. 

Fritillaria Meleagris. Laxfield and Little Stonham. 

Tulipa sylvestris. Near Bury. 

Ornithogalum nutans. Near Bury. 

Hyacinthus racemosus. Cavenham. 

Convallaria multiflora. Gorlestou. 

Frankenia leevis. Southwold. 

Rumex sanguincus. Lowestoft. 

Colchicum autumnale. Little Stonham and Bury. 

Alisma Damasonium. Framlingham. 

(Enothera biennis. Woodbridge. 

Da])hne Mezereum. Laxfield. 

Pyrola rotundifolia. Bradwell and Middleton. 

Scleranthus perennis. Near Bury. 

Silene Otites. Thctford and Barton Mills. 

Sedum anglicanum. Between Yarmouth and Dunwich. 

glaucum. Near Mildenhall. 
Potentilla vcrna. Near Bury. 
Delphinium Consolida. Near Bury and Brandon. 
Laniium incisum. Saxmundham. 
Leonurus Cardiaca. Bungay and Cove. 
Antirrhinum spurium. Frequent in Suffolk. 
Scrophularia vernalis. Near Bury. 
Limosella aquatica. Lowestoft. 
Orobanche ramosa. Near Beccles and Mettingham. 
Teesdalia nudicaulis. About Bury. 
Thlaspi arvense. South end of the beach, Lowestoft. 
Nasturtium sylvestre. Bungay Common. 

terrestre. Ditto. 

Erysimum orientale. Bawdsey, near Orford. 
Azabis hirsuta. Bury. 
Geranium phseum. Ash-Bocking. 
Genista pilosa. Bury and Fornham. 

Pisum maritinum. On the beach at Aldborough and Orford, 
Vicia lutea. Beach at Orford. 
Trifolium scabrum. Near Bungay. 

glomeratum. Saxmundham. 
Medicago falcata. Bury. 

muricata. Sea-bank at Orford. 
Crepis biennis. Near Bury. 
Hypochseris maculata. Icklingham. 
Diotis maritima. Near Landguard Fort. 
Artemesia campestris. About Barton Mills, &c. 
Senecio paludosis. Lakenheath. 
Centaurea solstitialis. St. Edmund's Hill, Burv. 


Aceras anthropophora. In a chalk-pit at Ickworth. 

Oplirys aranifera. Burv. 

Malaxis Laeselii. Bogs near Tuddenham. 

Typha angustifolia. Bungay. 

Carex curta. Near Blundeston. 

teretiuscula. Barton Mills. 

pendula. Near \Voodbridge. 

,, ampullacen. Near Bungay. 
Myriophyllon verticillatum. Bungay. 
Salix Lambertiana. Icklingham and Bury. 

incubacea. Hopton. 

,, Smithiana. Bury. 

,, stipularis. Bury. 
Asphidium cristatum. Westleton. 

VOL. I. 



A. D. 

15/6. Robert Ashfield, of Stowlangtoft, Esq. 

15/7. John Higham, of Barrow, Esq. 

1578. Sir William Spring, of Pakcnham, Knt. 

1579. Sir Robert Jermyn, of Rushbrook, Knt. 

1580. Sir Philip Parker, of Arwerton, Knt. 

15S1. Sir Thomas Barnarcliston, of Kedington, Knt. 

1582. Sir Nicholas Bacon, of Redgrave, Knt. 

1583. Sir William Drurye, of Halsted, Knt. 

1 58-1. Sir Charles Framlingham, of Debenham, Knt. 

1 585. John Gurdon, of Assington, Esq. 

1586. George Colt, of Cavendish, Esq. 

1587. William Clopton, of Kcntwcll Hall, Es(|. 
15S8. Francis Jenny, of Brightwell, Esq. 

1589. Philip Tilney, of Slielley, Esq. 

1590. Sir William Waldograve, of Smallbridge, Knt. 

1591. Thomas Rons, of Ilcnham, Esq. 

1592. Nicholas Garneys, of Kenton, Esq. 

1593. Lionel Talmache, of Ilclmingliam, Esq. 
159-1. Robert Ford, of Bntley, Esq. 

1595. Thomas Crofts, of Saxham, Esq. 

1596. Sir William Spring, of Pakenham, Knt. 

1597. Thomas Eden, of Sudbury, Esq. 

1598. Sir Anthony Wingfield, of Letheringham, Knt. 

1599. Henry Warner, of Mildenhull, Esq. 

1600. Anthony Felton, of Playford, Esq. 

1601. Edward Bacon, Esq. 

1602. Sir Edmund Withipol, of Ipswich, Knt. 

1603. Thomas Estotevilc, of Dalhain, ES<I. 

1604. Sir Nicholas Bacon, of Redgrave, Knt. 

1G05. Edmund Bokenham, of Great Thornham, Esq. 

1606. Sir Thomas Playters, of Sotterley, Knt. 

1607. Anthony Penning, of Ipswich, Esq. 

1608. John Wentworth, of Somerleyton, Esq. 

1609. Lionel Talmache, of Helmingham, Esq. 

,. ("Sir Thomas Wingfield, of Letheringham, Knt. 

' I Sir George Le Hunt, of Bredfield, Knt. 

1611. Thomas Tilney, of Shelley, Esq. 

1612. Sir Calthrop Parker, of Arwerton, Knt. 

1613. Sir Martin Estotevile, of Dalham, Knt. 

1614. Sir Robert Brooke, of Yoxford, Knt. 


A. D. 

1615. Sir Robert Barker, of Trimley, Knt. 

1616. Thomas Clench, of Holhrook, Esq. 

1617. Sir Lionel Talmache, of Helmingham, Knt. and Bart. 
1618 I ^ r Edward Lewknor, of Denham, Knt. 

I Sir Charles Gawdy, of Debenham, Knt. 

1619. John Wentworth, of Somerleyton, Esq. 

1620. Sir Henry North, of Wickham Brook, Knt. 

1621. Sir William Spring, of Pakenham, Knt. 

1622. William Whettle, of Ampton, Esq. 

1623. Robert Brooke, of Nacton, Esq. 

1624. Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston, of Kedington, Knt. 

1625. Geoffrey Pitman, of Woodbridge, Esq. 

1626. Samuel Aylmer, of Claydon, Esq. 

1627. Sir John Prescot, of Hoxne, Knt. 

1628. Maurice Barrow, of Barningham, Esq. 

1629. Brampton Gurdon, of Assington, Esq. 

1630. Sir Henry Bokenham, of Thornham, Knt. 

1631. John Acton, of Bramford, Esq. 

1632. Sir Robert Crane, of Chilton, Knt. and Bart. 

1633. Sir William Soame, of Thurlow, Knt. 

1634. Sir Edmund Bacon, of Redgrave, Knt. and Bart. 
1C35. Sir John Barker, of Trimley, Bart. 

1636. Sir John Rons, of Ilenham, Knt. 

1637. Sir Philip Parker, of Anverton, Knt. 

If 38 / ^' r Anthony Wingfield, of Letheringham, Bart. 
I Edward Duke, of Benhall, Esq. 

1639. John Clench, of Greeting, Esq. 

1640. Sir Symouds D'Ewes, of Stowlangtoft, Knt. 

1641. Sir William Spring, of Pakenham, Knt. 

1642. Sir William Castleton, of Bury, Knt. and Bart. 

1643. Maurice Barrow, of Barningham, Esq. 

1644. John Colton, of Earl Soham, Esq. 

1645. Sir Arthur Jenney, of Knodishall, Knt. 

1646. Thomas Bloss, of Belstead, Esq. 

1647. Thomas Kerridge, of Shelley, Esq. 

1648. Robert Wright, of Wangford, Esq. 

1649. Sir Wiseman Bokenham, of Thornham, Knt. 

1650. Sir William Hervey, of Hengrave, Knt. 
1651 / Edward Clarke, of East Bergholt, Esq. 

' I Sir Robert Coke, of Huntingfield, Knt. 

1652. Edward Wennieve, of Brettenham, Esq. 

1653. Robert Cordell, of Long Melford, Esq. 

1654. Sir John Barker, of Trimley, Bart. 

1655. Martin Salter, of Battisford, Esq. 

1656. James Calthrop, of Ampton, Esq. 


A. D. 

1657. Thomas Baker, of Fressingfield, Esq. 

1 658. John Wyard, of Brandish, Esq. 

1659. John Wyard, of Brandish, Esq. 

1660. Sir John Castleton, of Bury, Bart. 

1661. Renold Williams, of Stoke, Esq. 

1662. Joseph Brand, of Edwardston, Esq. 
1003. Francis Theobald, of Barking, Esq. 

1605. John Bence, of Ringsfield, Esq. 

1066. Sir Edmund Bacon, of Redgrave, Bart. 

1007. Jeoffrey Ilowland, of Covehithe, Esq. 

1008. Samuel Blackaby, of Stowmarket, Esq. 
1669. Sir Robert Diver, of Ipswich, Bart. 
1070. John Clarke, of Bury, Esq. 


1072. John Risby, of Thorp Morieux, Esq. 

1073. William Soarne, Esq. 
107-1. Francis Sherwin, Esq. 

1075. Joseph Warner, of Sudbury, Esq. 
1070. Joseph Warner, of Sudbury, Esq. 

1077. John Acton, of Bramford, Esq. 

1078. Sir Willonghby D'Ewcs, of Stowlangtoft, Bart. 
1071). Sir John Rons, of Ilenham, Bart. 

1680. Sir Robert Brooke, of Yoxford, Knt. 


10*2. Thomas Waldegrave, of Smallbridgc, Esq. 

1683. Thomas Waldegrave, of Smallbridgc, Esq. 

1081. Jacob Garrett, of Greeting St. Mary, Esq. 

10*5. Sir John Cornell, of Melt'ord, Bart. 

1086. JeotTery Nightingale, Esq. 

1087. Sir John Castleton, of Bury, Bart. 
1688. John Clerke, of Bury, Esq. 

1089. Edmund Sheppard, of Campsey Ash, Esq. ",'tJt,. * :* i,e^ f j,, 
;.i 1090. Sir Dudley Cullum, of Hawsted, Bart. *. HU 1,'otttsti**. f 

1091. Sir Joseph Brand, of Edwardston, Knt . ~&eu.jlm^JaU., / 

1692. George Goodday, of Fornham, Esq. u jfctr,t -% Aaoc. t 

1693. John Hammond, Esq. -folkif*. /dyo. 7Ae second hart of ft*. 

1694. William Cooke, of Linstead, Esq. /*, h>A,'c4. fa,' f jvi?_?>,i/- it tttmte, 

1695. Daniel Browning, Esq. ///-/ /fe/t. 6ir-Aj>i& 

y - ' ^ on 

1696. 38 

1697. John Pack, of Stoke Ash, Esq. 

1698. John Cornwallis, of Wiugfield, Esq. 

1699. Thomas Aldrich, of Hessett, Esq. 

1 700. Samuel Warner, of Parham, Esq. 

1701. Henry Cooper, of Yoxford, Esq. 


A. D. 

1702. John Scrivener, of Sibton, Esq. 

1703. Sir Richard Allen, of Somerleyton, Bart. 

1704. Richard Phillips, of Ipswich, Esq. 

1705. Thomas Kerridge, of Shelley, Esq. 

1706. Leicester Martin, Esq. 

1707. Thomas Macro, of Bury, Esq. 

1708. Richard Norton, of Ixworth Abbey, Esq. 

1709. John Sheppard, of Campsey Ash, Esq. 

1710. Stephen Bacon, Esq. 

1711. Thomas Bloss, of Burstall, Esq. 

1712. Francis Coleman, of Hacheson, Esq. 

1713. John Ewer, of Chediston, Esq. 

1714. John Sheppard, of Campsey Ash, Esq. 

1715. Jonathan Myles, Esq. 

1716. Joseph Chaplin, of Bergholt, Esq. 

1717. John Inwood, Esq. 

1718. Edward Clarke, of Bergholt, Esq. 

1719. Nicholas Jacob, Esq. 

1720. Bartholomew Young, of Bradficld, Esq. 

1721. John Pitt, of Great Bcalings, Esq. 
1/22. Sir Jasper Cullum, of Ilawsted, Bart. 
1/23. John Boggas, of Great Finborough, Esq. 

1724. Gregory Coppinger, Esq. 

1725. Hustings Wilkinson, Esq. 

1726. Thomas Driver, of Earl Stonham, Esq. 

1727. Robert Goodrich, Esq. 

1728. Sir John Playters, of Sotterley, Bart. 

1729. Tobias Bloss, of Belstead, Esq. 

1730. Sir Thomas Allen, of Somerleyton, Bart. 

1731. Nathaniel Acton, of Ilemingston, Esq. 

1732. George Dashwood, Esq. 

1733. Alexander Bence, of Thorington, Esq. 

1734. John Eldred, Esq. 

1735. John Reynolds, Esq. 

1736. John Corrance, of Rongham, Esq. 

1737. Reginald Rabett, of Bramfield, Esq. 

1738. Sir 'William Barker, of Ipswich, Bart. 

1739. William Acton, of Bramford, Esq. 

1740. Edmund Jenney, of Bredfield, Esq. 

1741. Samuel Lucas, of Chelmondiston, Esq. 

1742. Baron Prettyman, of Bacton, Esq. 

1743. Sir John Barker, of Sproughton, Bart. 

1744. Robert Leman, of Wickham Market, Esq. 

1745. Charles Scrivener, of Sibton, Esq. 

1 746. Philips Colman, of Ipswich, Esq. 


A. D. 

1/47. Robert Edgar, of Ipswich, Esq. 

1748. Lamb Barry, of Syleham, Esq. 

1749. Thomas White, of Tattingstone, Esq. 

1 750. Richard Oneby, of Lowdham, Esq. 

1 75 1 . George Goodday, of Foi nham, Esq. 

1752. William Naunton, of Letheringham, Esq. 

1 753. Robert Sparrow, of Brandiston, Esq. 

1754. William Jennings, of Acton, Esq. 

1755. Cooke Freestou, of Mettingham, Esq. 
1750'. John Canham, of Milden, Esq. 

17") 7. Henry Moore, of Melford, Esq. 

1758. Robert May, of Sutton, Esq. 

1759. Sir John Rous, of Ilenham, Bart. 

1 760. Thomas Thorowgood, of Kersey, Esq. 
17(51. Thomas Moseley, of Ousden, Esq. 

1 7C2. Shadrach Brice, of Clare, Esq. 

1763. Ezekiel Sparke, of Walsham-le-Willovvs, Esq. 

1764. Sir John Blois, of Yoxford, Bart. 

1765. John Golding, of Thorington, Esq. 
f f f Gabrii-l Trusson, of Kelsall, Esq. 

' I William Wollaston, of Great Finborough, Esq. 

1767. William Chapman, of Loudham, Esq. 

1 768. Osborn Fuller, of Carlton, Esq. 

1769. Hutchiuson Mure, of Great Saxham, Esq. 

1770. Elcazor Davy, of Ubbeston, Esq. 

1771. John Frestou Scrivener, of Sibton, Esq. 

1772. Nathaniel Acton, of Bramford, Esq. 

1773. Thomas Maynard, of Wrentham, Esq. 

1774. Edmund Tyrell, of Gipping, Esq. 

1775. Richard Moore, of Melford, Esq. 
1770. John Frere, of Bacton, Esq. 

1777. Robert Sparrow, of Worlingham, Esq. 

1778. Reginald Rabett, of Bramfield, Esq. 

1779. John Sheppard, of Campsey Ash, Esq. 

1 780. Samuel Rush, of Benhall, Esq. 

1781. Charles Kent, of Fornham, Esq. 

1782. William Middleton, of Crowfield, Esq. 

1783. Robert Trotman, of Ipswich, Esq. 

1784. John Wennieve, of Brettenham, Esq. 

1785. Sir Thomas Gooch, of Benacre, Bart. 

1786. James Sewell, of Stutton, Esq. 

1787. John Meadows Theobald, of Henley, Esq. 

1 788. Sir Thomas Charles Bunbury, of Barton, Bart. 

1789. Nathaniel Lee Acton, of Livermere, Esq. 

1790. Miles Barne, of Sotterley, Esq. 


A. D. 

1791. Sir William Rowley, of Stoke, Bart. 

1792. Alexander Adair, of Flixtou, Esq. 

1793. George Doughty, of Leiston, Esq. 

1794. Charles Purvis, of Darsham, Esq. 

1795. Jacob Whitbread, of Loudham, Esq. 

1796. John Clayton, of Sibton, Esq. 

1797. Chaloner Arcedeckne, of Glemham, Esq. 

1798. John Sheppard, of Campsey Ash, Esq. 

1799. George Rush, of Benhall, Esq. 

1800. William Beaumaris Rush, of Raydou, Esq. 

1801. Charles Streynsham Collinson, of Sp rough ton, ! 

1802. Thomas Cocksedge, of Bury, Esq. 

1803. Sir Harry Parker, of Melford, Bart. 

1804. Sir Robert Pocklington, of Chelmsworth, Knt. 

1805. George Nassau, of Trimley, Esq. 

1806. Michael William le Heup, of Bury, Esq. 

1807. Thomas Mills, of Great Saxhain, Esq. 

1808. John Vernon, of Xactou, Esq. 

1809. John Dresser, of Blyford, Esq. 

1810. Joshua Grigby, of Drinkstonc, Esq. 

1811. Roger Pettiward, of Great Fiiiborough, Esq. 

1812. Richard Moore, of Melford, Esq. 

1813. Harry Spencer Waddington, of Caveiiham, Esq. 

1814. Edward Hollond, of Benhall, Esq. 

1815. Charles Tyrell, of Gipping, Esq. 

1816. Sir Charles Blois, of Yoxford, Bart. 

1817. Sir Robert Ilarland, of Xacton, Bart. 

1818. Charles Berners, of Woolverston, Esq. 

1819. Andrew Arcedeckne, of Glevering, Esq. 

1820. George Thomas, of Woodbridge, Esq. 

1821. Philip Bennett, of Roughani, Esq. 

1822. Ambrose Harbord Steward, of Stoke, Esq. 

1823. Henry Usborne, of Branches, Esq. 

1824. John Fitz-Gerald, of Bredlield, Esq. 

1825. Sir Henry Edward Bunbury, of Barton, Bart. 

1826. John Payne Elwes, of Stoke by Clare, Esq. 

1827. John Francis Leathes, of Herringfleet, Esq. 

1828. Hart Logan, of Kentwell Hall, Esq. 

1829. John Ruggles Brice, of Clare, Esq. 

1830 / 3hn Wilson Sheppard, of Campsey Ash, Esq. 
' I Sir William Middleton, of Shrubland, Bart. 

1831. John Read, of Holbrook, Esq. 

1832. Joseph Burch Smyth, of Ipswich, Esq. 

1833. Sir Thomas Sherlock Gooch, of Beuacre, Bart. 

1834. John Garden, of Redisham, Esq. 


A. D. 

1835. Robert Sayer, of Sibton, Esq. 

1836. Edward Bliss, of Brandon, Esq. 

1837. Sir Hyde Parker, of Long Melford, Bart. 

1838. Thomas Halifax, of Chadacre, Esq. 

1839. Arthur John Brooke, of Horningshearth, Esq. 

1840. George St. Vincent Wilson, of Redgrave, Esq. 
1811. Sir Joshua Rieketts Rowley, of Tendring Hall, Bart. 

1842. Edward Bridgman, of Coney Weston, Esq. 

1843. William Long, of Saxmundham, Esq. 

1844. Sir Philip Brooke, of Nacton, Bart. 
184"). Henry Wilson, of Stowlangtoft, Esq. 



A. D. 

1542. Sir Arthur Ilopton. 

1547. Sir Anthony Wingfield. Sir Thomas Wentworth. 

1553. Sir William Drury. Sir Thomas Bcdingfeld. 

1553. Sir William Drury. Sir Henry Jerningham. 

1554. Sir Thomas Jerningham. Sir William Drury. 

1554. Henry Jernegan. Sir William Drury. 

1555. The same. 

1557. SirT. Cornwallis. W. Cordell, Esq. (Speaker.) 

1559. Robert Wingfield. William Walgrave. 

1563. William Walgrave. Sir Robert Wingfield. 

1571. Sir Owen Hopton. Thomas Seckford. 

15/2. Nicholas Bacon. Sir Robert Wingfield. 

1585. Sir William Drury. Sir Robert Jermyn. 

1586. Sir Robert Jermyn. Sir John Higham. 
1588. Anthony Wingfield. Arthur Hopton. 
1592. Edward Bacon. Sir Clement Heigham. 
1597. Sir William Walgrave. Henry Warner. 
1601. Sir Henry Glemham. Calthrop Parker. 
1603. Sir John Higham. Sir Robert Drury. 
1614. Sir Henry Bedingfeld. Sir Robert Drury. 
1620. Sir Robert Crane. Thomas Clinch. 


A. O. 

1623. Sir William Spring. Sir Roger North. 

1625. Sir Edmund Bacon, Bart. Thomas Cornwallis. 

1625. Sir Robert Naunton. Sir Robert Crane. 

1628. Sir William Spring. Nathaniel Barnardiston. 

1 640. Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston. Sir Philip Parker. 

1653. Jacob Caley. Francis Brewster. Robert Dunken. John Clark. Edward Plumstead. 

1654. Sir Thomas Barnardiston. Sir William Spring, Bart. Sir Thomas Bedingfeld. William 

Blois. John Gurdon. William Gibbs. John Brandling. Alexander Bence. John 

Sicklemore. Thomas Bacon. 
1656. Sir Henry Felton. Sir Thomas Barnardiston. Henry North. Edmund Harvey. Edward 

Wennieve. John Sicklemore. William Blois. William Gibbs. Robert Brewster. 

Daniel Wale. 
1658-9. Sir Henry Felton. Sir Thomas Barnardiston. 

1660. Sir Henry Felton. Sir Henry North. 

1661. Sir Henry Felton. Sir Henry North. Sir Samuel Barnardiston, in the room of Sir Henry 


1678. Sir Gervase Elwes. Sir Samuel Barnardiston. 

1679. Sir William Spring. Sir Samuel Barnardiston. 
1681. The same. 

1685. Sir Robert Brook. Sir Henry North. 

1688. Sir John Cordell. Sir John Rous. 

1690. Sir Gervase Elwes. Sir Samuel Barnardiston. 

1695. The same. 

1698. Sir Samuel Barnardiston. Sir Lionel Talmache. Earl of Dysart, in Scotland. 

1700. Earl of Dysart. Sir Samuel Barnardiston. 

1701. The same. 

1702. Earl of Dysart. Sir Dudley Cullum. 
1705. Earl of Dysart. Sir Robert Davers. 
1707- Sir Robert Davers. Henry Martin. 
1708. Sir Thomas Hanmer. Sir Robert Davers. 
1710. The same. 

1713. The same. 

1714. Sir Thomas Hanmer, (Speaker.) Sir Robert Davers. 

1 722. Sir Thomas Hanmer. Sir Robert Davers. Sir William Barker, in the room of Sir Robert 

Davers, dead. 
1727. Sir William Barker. Sir Jermyn Davers. Sir Robert Kemp, in the room of Sir William 

Barker, dead. 

1734. Sir R. Kemp. Sir J. Davers. Sir Cordel Firebrace, in the room of Sir R. Kemp, dead. 
1740. Sir Jermyn Davers. Sir Cordel Firebrace. 
1747. Sir Cordel Firebrace. John Affleck. 

1754. Sir Cordel Firebrace. John Affleck. Rowland Holt, in place of Sir Cordel Firebrace, dead. 
1761. Rowland Holt. Thomas Charles Bunbury. 
1768. Sir T. C. Bunbury, Bart. Sir J. Rous, Bart. 
1774. Sir T. C. Bunbury. Rowland Holt. 
1780. Sir T. C. Bunbury. Sir J. Rous. 

VOL. i. 9 


A. D. 

1784. Sir J. Rous. Joshua Grigby. 

1 "90. Sir J. Rous. Sir T. C. Bunbury. 

1 796. Sir T. C. Bunbury. Lord Brome. 

1801. The same. 

1802. Sir T. C. Bunbury. Lord Brome. T. S. Gooch, in the room of Lord Brome. 

1806. Sir T. C. Bunbury. Thomas Sherlock Gooch. 

1807. The same. 

1812. Thomas Sherlock Gooch. Sir William Rowley, Bart. 
1818. The same. 
1820. The same. 
1826. The same. 

1830. Sir Henry Edward Bunbury. Charles Tyrell. 

1831. The same. 


1832. Lord Ilenniker. Robert Newton Shawe. 
183.}. Lord Henniker. Sir Charles Broke Vere. 

1837. The same. Lord Kendlesham, in place of Vere, dead. 


1832. Charles Tyrell. Sir Hyde Parker, Bart. 

183"). Henry Wilson. Robert Rushbrooke. 

1*37. Robert Rushbrooke. Hart Logan. Henry Spencer Waddington, in place of Logan, dead. 

The Seal of Michael Stanhope, Vice-Admiral of Suffolk. Temp. Eliz. 




>HIS Hundred is written in Domesday Book Wanneforda and Waiueforda, and takes 
its name from the town of Wangford, which is not now within its bounds. The 
fee of this Hundred being in the Crown in the reign of Edward the First, it was 
assigned by that monarch, with other estates to the amount of 400 per annum, to 
John de Clavering, for life ; in consideration of the settlement made by him upon 
the said king and his heirs, of his castle of Warkworth, and other manors in the 
county of Northumberland. 

On the death of Sir John, the fee of this Hundred reverted to the Crown, and in the reign of Edward 
the Third it was returned as being " in manu W: de Norwico, Thesaur : ." It afterwards fell to the Crown 
again, and continued part of the royal demesnes until 1822, when it was conveyed, on the 30th of April, 
in that year, by the Right Honourable William Huskisson, and William Dacres Adams, two of His 
Majesty's Commissioners of Woods and Forests, to John Garden, Esq., of Redisham Hall, who is the 
present possessor. 

Its revenues arise from the rents of about twelve acres of land lying within its limits, together with 
certain quit-rents, and the goods and chattels of fugitives, outlaws, and suicides. 

The Hundred is bounded on the north by the river Waveney, which divides it from Norfolk : on the 
west by the Hundred of Hoxne : on the south by the Hundred of Blything ; part of which, and the 
Hundred of Mutford, bound it on the east. It contains twenty-nine parishes, of which Beccles and Bungay 
are market towns ; and the hamlet of Hulverstreet. 

It comprises three divisions, viz. : the seven parishes of Ilketshall ; the nine parishes, or the township, 



of South Elniham ; and the parishes about Beccles. The nine parishes form the Deanery of South 
Elmhani, and the rest constitute that of Wangford. 


North Cove. 
Redisham Magna. 
Redisham Parva. 

Willinghain St. Mary. 
and the 
Hamlet of Hulverstreet. 

St. Andrew. 
Bungay St. Mary. 
Bungay Trinity. 
St. John. 
St. Laurence. 
St. Margaret. 
All Saints. 
St. George. 
St. James. 
St. Margaret. 
St. Michael. 
St. Nicholas. 
St. Peter. 


)> South Elniham. 


ACHESON, The Right Honorable the Lord, Worlingham Hall. 

BAYNING, The Right Honorable and Rev. the Lord, Honingham Hall, Norfolk. 

COLBORNE, The Right Honorable the Lord, West Harling, Norfolk. 

MANNERS, The Right Honorable the Lord, Fornham Park. 

NORTHAMPTON, The Most Noble the Marquis of, Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire. 

NORWICH, The Lord Bishop of, The Palace, Norwich. 

ORFORD, The Right Honorable the Earl of, Wolterton Hall, Norfolk. 

RENDLESHAM, The Right Honorable the Lord, Rendlesham Hall. 

SUFFOLK, The Right Honorable the Earl of, Cheltenham. 

THURLOW, The Right Honorable the Lord, Ashfield Lodge, 2 copies. 

Adair, Alexander Shafto, Esq., Flixton Hall. 

Almack, Richard, Esq., Long Melford. 

Alston, the Rev. E. C., Cransford Hall. 

Anstruther, J. H. Lloyd, Esq., Hintlesham Hall. 

Arcedeckne, Andrew, Esq., Glevering Hall. 

Aplin, Captain, the Lodge, Melton. 

Austen, Sir Henry E., Chelsworth Hall. 

Austin, Charles, Esq., Brandeston Hall. 

Bacon, Edmund, Esq., Raveningham Hall, Norfolk. 

Barlee, Mrs., Duke's Bridge House, Bungay, 4 copies. 

Baker, Mrs. Lloyd, Teignmouth, Devonshire. 

Barlow, the Rev. G., Burgh Rectory, Woodbridge. 

Barne, Frederick, Esq., Dunwich House, 2 copies. 

Bartlett, Mrs., Ipswich. 

Beccles Public Library. 

Beck, Edward, Esq., M. D., Ipswich. 

Bedingfeld, J. J., Esq., Ditchingham Hall, Norfolk. 

Berney, T. T., Esq., Morton Hall, Norfolk. 

Berners, the Rev. Henry Denny, Woolverstone Park. 

Bidwell, the Rev. George, Stanton. 

Bidwell, L. S., Esq. 

Blakeley, Edward, Esq., Thorpe Hamlet, Norwich. 

Blois, Sir Charles, Bart., Cockfield Hall, Yoxford. 

Bland, Thomas, Esq., M. D., Melton. 

Bohun, Richard, Esq., Beccles. 

Boileau, Sir John, Bart., Ketteringham Hall, Norfolk. 

Brewster, Cardinal, Esq., Halstead Lodge, Essex. 


Brooke, F. C., Esq., Ufford Place. 

Brooke, John William, Esq., Sibton Park. 

Brown, W., Esq., Ipswich. 

Bulwer, the Rev. James, Aylsham, Norfolk. 

Bulwer, the Rev. A. E., Cawston Rectory, Norfolk. 

Bungay Book Society. 

Caius College Library, Cambridge. 

Capper, the Rev. J. L., Waltham Abbey, Essex. 

Carthew, George A., Esq., East Dereham, Norfolk. 

Clarke, Mrs. C., Beccles. 

Clarke, Mrs. S., Bungay. 

Chenery, Edgar, Esq., Eye. 

Chevallier, Clement, Esq., Beccles. 

Cobbold, the Rev. R., Wortham Rectory. 

Corner, George O., Esq., Eltham, Kent. 

Cottingham, ..... Esq., Architect, London. 

Coyte, the Rev. James, Polstead Rectory. 

Creed, the Rev. Henry, Mellis Rectory. 

Cross, Frederick, Esq., Halesworth. 

Crowfoot, Henchman, Esq., Beccles. 

Crowfoot, William, Esq., Beccles. 

Cubitt, the Rev. F., Fritton. 

Cullum, Sir T. G., Bart., Hardwicke House. 

Cunningham, the Rev. F., Lowestoft. 

Dash wood, the Rev. G. H., Stow Bardolph, Norfolk. 

Davy, D. E., Esq., Ufford. 

Davey, Henry, Esq., Beccles. 

Day, John, Esq., Beccles. 

Deck, Mr., Ipswich. 

Deck, Mr., Bury. 

Denny, the Rev. R. C., Oulton, Lowestoft. 

Doughty, the Rev. C. Montagu, Theberton Hall. 

Edwards, Vertue, Esq., Colet Place, London. 

Elswood, A., Esq., Bungay. 

Farr, Thomas, Esq., Beccles. 

Francis, Henry, Esq., Beccles. 

Fitch, W. S., Esq., Ipswich. 

Folkes, Sir W r illiam Browne, Bart., Hillington Hall, Norfolk. 

Ford, the Rev. J., Navestock, Essex. 

Fowler, the Rev. F., Gunton. 

Garden, John, Esq., Redisham Hall. 

Garnham, Mr., Beccles. 

Golding, Samuel, Esq., Walsham le Willows. 

Gooch, Sir Thomas, Bart., Benacre Hall. 

Gooch, Mrs., Woodton, Norfolk. 

Gurney, Daniel, Esq., North Runcton Hall, Norfolk. 

Gurney, Hudson, Esq., Keswick, Norfolk. 


Hills, R., Esq., Colchester. 

Hill , Esq. 

Hobler, Francis, Esq., Canonbury Square, Islington. 

Howes, the Rev. F. G. F., Belton Rectory. 

Howman, the Rev. A. E., Shiplake, Oxfordshire. 

Howman, the Rev. G. E., Barnsley, Gloucestershire. 

Howman, the Rev. E. J., Bexwell Rectory, Norfolk. 

Howman, Miss, Beccles, 2 copies. 

Hughes, Mr. William, London, 25 copies. 

Humfrey, Rev. J., Wroxham Hall, Norfolk. 

Hunt, William P., Esq., Ipswich. 

Ipswich Public Library. 

Jermyn, Rev. Edward, Carlton Rectory. 

Josselyn, J., Esq., St. Edmund's Hill, Bury. 

Kerrison, Sir Edward, Bart., Oakley Park. 

Kett, George, Esq., Brooke House, Norfolk. 

Leathes, the Rev. F., Rcedham Rectory, Norfolk. 

Lillingston, Alfred, Esq., the Lodge, Southwold. 

Lillistone, Mrs., Beccles. 

Livening, the Rev. H., Bedfont Vicarage, Middlesex. 

Longe, John, Esq., Spixworth Hall, Norfolk. 

London, Miss Caroline, Bedford Place, Russell Square. 

Maiden Public Library. 

Margitson, I. T., Esq., Ditchingham House, Norfolk. 

Marsham, R., Esq., Stratton Strawless Hall, Norfolk. 

Maynard, J., Esq., Orford. 

Metcalf, Henry, Esq., Hawstead House. 

Metcalfe, . . ., Esq. 

Middleton, Sir W. F., Bart., Shrubland Park. 

Millers, the Rev. George, Canon of Ely Cathedral. 

Muskett, Mr. Charles, Norwich, 2 copies. 

Nicholas, Rev. G. F., Hadiscoe Rectory, Norfolk. 

Norman, John, Esq., Southwold. 

Norris, the Rev. D. G., Kessiugland Rectory. 

Norwich Chapter Library. 

Norwich Literary Institution. 

Norwich Public Library. 

Palmer, . . . ., Esq., Yarmouth. 

Parker, T. H., Esq., Oxford. 

Pawsey, Mr. Frederick, Ipswich. 

Percival, Richard, Esq., Highbury Park, Middlesex. 

Peto, S. Morton, Esq., Somerleyton Hall, 2 copies. 

Randall, W. E., Esq., Southtown. 

Read, H., Esq., Worlingham. 

Rede, the Rev. Rede, Ashman's. 

Rix, S. Wilton, Esq., Beccles. 

Rodwell, W., Esq., Ipswich. 


Rolfe, the Rev. S. C. Neville, Heacham, Norfolk. 

Safford, the Rev. J. C., Mettingham Castle. 

Scott, John B., Esq., Bungay. 

Scott, P. N., Esq., Norwich. 

Scott, the Rev. C. J., Shaddingfield Hall. 

Scrivener, Pike, Esq., Ratnridge Park, Hants, and Sibton Abbey. 

Sharpin, E., Esq., Beccles. 

Sheriffe, the Rev. T., Henstead Hall. 

Skoulding, Mr., Ringstield. 

Sloman, Mr., Yarmouth, 2 copies. 

Smith, John, Esq., Ellingham Hall, Norfolk. 

Speare, the Rev. J., Elmsett Rectory. 

Steward, Charles, Esq., Blundeston. 

Stone, Mrs., Beccles. 

Suffolk, the Ven. Archdeacon of. 

Thompson, Mr. George, Bury St. Edmund's, 4 copies. 

Thornhill, Thomas, Esq., Riddlesworth Hall, Norfolk. 

Thurlow, the Hon. Thomas Hugh Hovell, Capt. 7th Royal Fusileers. 

Thurlow, the Hon. John Edmund Hovell, Capt. 85th Light Infantry. 

Thurtell, the Rev. A., Privy Council Chambers, Whitehall. 

Tippell, Mr., Norwich, 2 copies. 

Tollemache, J., Esq., M. P., Ilclmingham Hall. 

Turner, the Rev. S. Blois, Halesworth. 

Turner, Dawson, Esq., Yarmouth. 

Turner, Francis, Esq., Lincoln's Inn. 

Tyrell, Charles, Esq., Polstead Hall. 

Wade, the Rev. Ellis, Blaxhall Rectory. 

Waddington, II. S., Esq., M. P., Cavenham Hall. 

Westhorp, the Rev. S. M., Sibton Vicarage. 

Whewell, the Rev. Dr., Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

Wilson, Henry, Esq., Stow Langtoft Hall. 

Wood, John, junior, Esq., Woodbridge. 

% The Author has to apologize to very many of his patrons whose names do not appear in 
the preceding list, he not having been favoured with their address, in compliance with the request 
cnntaiued in his advertisements in the public papers. 


THERE is no subject more pleasing to the thoughtful mind than a contemplation of the 
changes wrought by time on the face of nature and few places present a more ample 
field for such retrospective meditation than the site of Beccles. The spectator beholds 
from the bold promontory on which it stands a wide and fertile valley, smiling beneath 
the industry of man. He sees churches, villages, and mansions, thickly studded along 
its wooded banks, and a winding silvery stream bearing on its bosom the peaceful sail 
of commerce. Here and there appears the silken pennon of the pleasure-boat fluttering 
in the breeze, or the patient angler pursuing his " contemplative recreation." A spacious 
church, encircled by a thriving, well-built town, bounds the nearer view, and completes 
the picture of the present day. 

In remoter ages how different was the scene. Then this tranquil valley lay buried 
beneath a broad impetuous arm of the sea, whose mighty tides bore along the hostile 
bark of the ruthless Dane, intent on violence and plunder. The Christian temple 
the Beata Ecclesia which has since given name to the spot, was then unbuilt but 
a rude and lofty watch-tower occupied the site ; l which, commanding a seaward view of 
the turbulent estuary, blazed forth the fearful notice of invasion to a beacon placed on 
the peninsula at Bungay. This in turn communicated with a third at llomersfield ; 
and thus the intelligence was speedily passed along the valley of the Waveney, and into 
the heart of East Anglia. 

The watch-tower at Beccles was, probably, defended by a ditch and rampart of 
earth; and the protection these afforded to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood in 
times of peril and alarm, gradually drew together a few simple habitations, which the 
security of the place, and its advantageous position for the herring-fishery, rapidly 
increased in numbers and importance : hence the origin of Beccles. In the year 960 
the manor of this rising town was granted by King Edwy to the monastery of Bury ; a 
circumstance which doubtless conduced to its prosperity, for the monks were far 
advanced beyond the barbarous manners of the times in which they lived, and were 
the depositaries of every useful art and science. 

Jermyn MSS. Brit. Mus. 

VOL. I. 


Under the mild rule of these ecclesiastics, who as landlords were less arbitrary than 
the feudal warriors, Beccles gradually progressed in population and wealth, and its 
nourishing state was further increased in the reign of William the Conqueror by the 
arrival of twenty-four burgesses who fled from Norwich to escape the penalties of 
Earl Guader's conspiracy. 2 These merchants brought with them a considerable share 
of the herring-fishery, then an important branch of trade both at Norwich and Beccles, 
and thus rendered these towns in some measure rival marts. In the course of a 
century from the grant of King Edwy, the commerce of Beccles had doubled, for at 
the period of the Domesday Survey the tale of 30,000 herrings, which had been paid to 
King Edward the Confessor as a fee-farm rent for the manor, was raised by the 
Conqueror to a tallage of 60,000. The town then contained twenty-six burgesses, 
besides inhabitants of an inferior grade. All who possessed property in it, could 
alienate their houses and lands, a privilege, at that time, not generally enjoyed. 
There was also a market, in which the Abbot had three parts, and the King one. It 
was one leuca in length, and eight furlongs in breadth, and paid IQd. gelt. It also 
possessed a church, endowed with twenty-four acres of glebe. 3 Roger Bigot took care 
of an estate for the King of about two hundred acres of land, with the profits arising 
from the fourth part of the market, as before stated. This appears to have been then 
held as a separate manor, but it soon after fell into the possession of the Abbot, and 
was united with his principal lordship. 4 It was probably the manor called in ancient 
deeds the manor of Endgatc, and which was returned in the reign of Edward I. 
amongst the estates of the Abbot of Bury. 

The situation of Beccles at this period must have been bleak, for there was wood 
sufficient for the maintenance of only eight swine ; while the river had receded so slowly 
that the Abbot's manor contained but ten acres of meadow. 5 

The early importance of Beccles is further confirmed by the ' Monasticon,' which, 
referring to the citizens of Norwich, says, " They had not before the Conquest, nor 
for a hundred years or more after it, any coroners or bailiffs from among themselves ; 
but they had one bailiff only, who, in the King's name, held courts and collected 
amercements, as was done in Beccles, and Bungay; or in other towns where 
merchandize is sold." 6 

King Stephen confirmed to the Abbot the previous grants of King Edwy, reserving 
to himself " the pleas of the Crown." 7 

By an ancient inquisition, sans date, it was returned that " the Abbot and Convent 
of St. Edmund hold the town of Beccles of the gift of Stephen, once King of England ; 

2 Domesday Book. Domesday. 4 Id. Terra Itegis. ' Domesday. 

" Mon. Ang. vol. i. p. 408. " Mon. Ang. 


and therein they claim to have the view of Erankpledge, &c. ; they know not by what 
authority ; and the Abbot comes and says that himself and his predecessors have 
held the manor of Beccles, with the liberties aforesaid, from the time of King Edwy, 
before the conquest of England ; and he says that in the book which is called 
Domesday, it is stated that in the time of King Edward, St. Edmund held the 
aforesaid town of Beccles : and of this he vouches to warrant the aforesaid book, 
called Domesday." 

The Abbot, as Lord of the Manor, had a right of free-warren in Beccles, but 
whether this was exercised by grant or prescription does not appear. He also 
possessed the right of free-fishery in the waters of the Waveney, from Gerard's fleet 
to Beccles bridge ; a privilege which was afterwards extended as far as St. Olave's ; 
with a Leet, or power of electing officers for the management and control of the 
fishery for the fixing the size of the meshes of the fishing-nets used in the above 
waters ; and for preventing nuisances committed therein. This right of free-fishery, 
which was obtained by the Abbot in 1208 from John le Bigot, does not seem to 
have been an exclusive grant, but extended to all the inhabitants of the town ; they 
being subject to the regulations of the Leet. 

The words of the grant are as follows : 

" Anno 53 Hen. 3. John le Bigot legavit fincm Abbati de Bury, ct hominibus 
de Beccles communis piscarise in aqua de Beccles a ponte de Beccles usque ad 
Gerards fleet." 8 

The Abbot had also a Swannery in these waters, to which belonged a swan-mark, 
being " a squire and an ollyctt : the squire upon the right side of the beak, and 
the ollyett on the left ; and if any swan with an oveiiayed inarke happen to be found 
in the common streame called the water of the Waveney between the fleete called 
Gerard's fleet, and St. Olave's bridge, the same belongs to the Lord of the Manor of 
Beccles in right of the said manor." 9 

In the 26th of Edward III., the Abbot obtained an exemplification of his liberties 
between " Coppoliston et molendinum de Werlingham," and in the town of Beccles. 10 

In the year 1448, there was a suit between the Abbot and the Lord of the Manor 
of Roos Hall, to determine whether Jerard's Hill belonged to the manor of Beccles or 
Roos Hall, which seems to have been determined in favour of the latter. 11 

The revenues arising from the manor of Beccles were granted by King Edwy 
to purchase vestments and shoes for the monks of St. Edmund. 

The manor and advowson of Beccles remained with the Abbots of Bury till the 

8 MS. Brit. Mus. 9 Jermyn MSS. Brit. Mus. 

10 Records in the Tower of London. " Claus. 27 Hen. 6. n. 19. 


dissolution of that monastery in 1539, and were granted on the 6th of February, 1541, 
to William Rde, citizen and mercer of London. This gentleman enjoyed his grant 
but one year ; for by an inquisitio post mortem taken at Ipswich on the 6th of April, 
34th of Hen. VIII., he was found to die on the 10th of February in that year, seized of 
this property. 

The manor and advowson seem then to have passed to his second son, William 
Rede, who, dying in 1552, left his widow a life interest in the same. She afterwards 
married Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of the Royal Exchange in London ; who 
in right of his wife presented to the church. By an extent and survey of the manor 
taken in 1587, when Dame Anne Gresham was again a widow, it was determined 
by a water-leet then held, " that if any fisherman whatever do fyshe in the sayde water 
(of Beccles) from the sayde fleete unto the sayde bridge (of Beccles) with any manner 
of nett, the shale or meshes thereof not being in wydnes two inches and an half of the 
rule (grounde netts, wherewith they take eles only excepted), every such nett is forfeite 
unto the Lord of the Manor abovesaid, over and above twentye shillings in the name 
of a paync ; and all the h'sh taken in the same unlawful nett." These salutary 
measures seem to have been strictly enforced by subsequent lords ; and the fines 
inflicted on several offenders are recorded in the court -books at no very distant period ; 
but it is much to be regretted that a water-leet has not been held for the manor since 
the isth of November, 1797. 

In 1(573, Sir Robert Yallop was Lord and Patron. From the Yallops the manor 
and advowson passed to the family of Bence, of Ilenstead, and from the Bences, by 
marriage, to the Sparrows, of Worlingham Hall. On the death of the late Robert 
Sparrow, Esq., in 1822, they descended to his daughter Mary, the wife of Archibald 
Acheson, Earl of Gosford, and in consequence of her decease are now held by the said 
Earl of Gosford, and Dawson Turner, Esq., of Yarmouth, in trust, to the use of the 
Earl for life, with remainder to Lord Acheson, his son by the said Mary Sparrow, 
in fee. 

That portion of the manor called Beccles Fen, which was returned in Domesday 
as containing only ten acres, became in process of time, by the gradual withdrawing 
of the waters, of considerable extent. At first, perhaps, it merely supplied rushes 
for the use of the inhabitants of the town ; and not being considered of much value 
by the Abbot, they were allowed to apply the produce to themselves. However, 
in 1391 the townspeople took possession of the fen or common, and began to exercise 
this permission as a right ; but were soon compelled to yield to the claim of the Abbot. 
By a verdict, in an action of novel disseisin, 15th of Richard II., between William, 
Abbot of Bury, demandant, and Roger Atte Lee, and ten others, all described as 
inhabitants of Beccles, defendants, the rights of the said Abbot William, and his 


predecessors, were fully established ; and the Abbot recovered seizin of the pasture land 
or fen, which then contained fourteen hundred acres. 12 

" Although the precise nature of the tenure by which the fen was held, or of the 
regulations for the management of it, cannot be positively ascertained, the general 
purport and intent of them may be collected from the proceedings in a Chancery suit 
instituted by the Corporation against John Rede, in the reign of Elizabeth, now 
remaining amongst the evidences of the Corporation ; in which it is stated, that in the 
beginning of the reign of King Henry VI., the Abbot and Convent of Bury did, by 
a deed under their convent seal, grant, demise, and confirm unto divers persons 
by name, then inhabitants of Beccles, ' a certaine greate ground of niarshe, fenne, and 
pasture, called and knowne by the name of Beccles Fen, or Beccles Common, then, 
or long time before, beying parcell of the manor of Beccles, parcell of the possessions of 
the said late dissolved monastery, contayning by estymacion 14-00 acres.' To hold 
to the said persons, named in such deed, and their heirs for ever, to the intent that the 
fen should thenceforth be and remain as common feed and pasturing, for the beasts 
of the inhabitants, and tenants of the said Abbot within the town of Beccles : with the 
privelege of taking thack, rushes, and other commodities thereof, renewing for ever ; 
paying to the said Abbot, and his successors, the yearly rent of 6. 13s. 4</."- 
" Thus, although the fen was indisputably parcel of the manor of Beccles, there is 
no evidence to authorize a supposition, that it was ever part of the waste of the 
manor, or a common on which the tenants had any legal right of commonage ; 
but on the contrary, a sole and exclusive ownership appears to have been exercised 
by the Abbot and Convent ; and that ownership supported by a trial at law with the 
inhabitants." 13 

The only memorial now in existence in the archives of the Corporation of any 
transaction between the Abbot and the inhabitants, is the following receipt : 

" Thys bylle made the ij de day of Scptcmbyr the iij de yer of Kyng Henry 
the viij te wytnessyth, that I Herry Furmage, syrvante of Mr. Chambryer of the 
Monestery of Bury Seynt Edmond, hath receyved of John Waters, John Herryng, 
John Thorn, and Richard Buk, fenrevys of the town of Beckelys for the yerly ferine 
of ther fen, x marck of good and lawful mony to the use and be hofte of hys seyd 
maystyr. In wytnesse here of I the seyd Herry have set to my seal and subscrbyd 
my name wyth my hand the day and yer a bove seyd. P' me HENRICU FURMAGE." 

From this document it appears, that a yearly rent of ten marks was paid to the 
Abbot for the fen, and that it was governed by four Fenreeves, in the same manner 
probably as by the second grant of Henry VIII. 

12 Harl. MSS. 13 Account of the Corporation of Beccles Fen. 


In the transactions which took place upon the dissolution of the monastery, relative 
to the procurement of a grant of the fen from the king, there seems to have been much 
misunderstanding and contention among the inhabitants. These disputes continued for 
a number of years to be maintained with much acrimony, and on one or two occasions, 
with bloodshed ; and as they occasioned great expense in law proceedings, they were 
the original cause of enclosing parts of the common, and demising them for terms 
of years, in order to defray these expenses. The first grant of Henry VIII. was made 
in the year 1540, to William Rede, merchant, and his heirs, in trust, for the benefit 
of himself and others, inhabitants of the town of Beccles. The sum paid for this grant, 
to tin 1 king's use, was 120. Now there seems to have been in the hands of 
.Mr. Rede, the sum of 400 marks, arising from the sale of lands and sheep at Blofield, 
belonging to a gild in the town ; besides a further sum, arising from the sale of plate 
belonging to the said gild. This money had been placed in Mr. Rede's hands by the 
gildennen,' who bv this sale anticipated the king, and left but little for him to seize 
at the dissolution of the fraternity, which soon after took place. They had before 
taken upon them to discharge the Abbot's annual fee-farm of ten marks ; and it 
was now determined, that from the fund produced by the sale of their property, 
the expenses attending the procurement of the grant should be defrayed. It was the 
application of this fund which gave rise to all the subsequent disputes. The inhabitants 
charged Mr. Rede with the embezzlement of a part of the money ; while he asserted, 
that he had expended the whole of it, together with other money of his own, on account 
of the grant. It was, however, at length finally accorded, by an indenture drawn 
up by Mr. Sergeant Gawdy, of Gawdy Hall, between William Rede, of Beccles, in 
the county of Suffolk, on the one part, and Thomas Rede, son and heir of the said 
\V. Rede, and John Thorn, churchwardens of Beccles, and others, on the other part ; 
' That wheras the seid Will'm Rede hath purchased of o'r scid sovreign lord ye comen 
of Bccclis to ye use and comodite of the seid towne for the inh'itants of the same, for 
the payment and p'chase whereof it was in variance betwyne the said p'ties whether the 
money wherwith ye seid coinen was purchased were the p'per monye of the seid 
Will'm Rede or ye stock or monye of ye seid inhabitants, whereupon hath rised 
and growne moche variance and contention, wherefore it is now fully concluded 
graunted assented and agreed &c. and alsoe it is confessed by the seid Will'm Rede 
and ye seid other p'ties that the seid comen was purchased indifferently with the money 
of the seid Will'm Rede and ye moneye of ye seid inhabitants beynge in the custodie of 
the seid Will'm Rede to ye use of the seid inhabitants, by reason of w'ch seid p'chase 
there is no money remaynyng in the hands and possession of the seid Will'm Rede. 
And the seid chirchwardens and inhabitants by thes pt's do dyscharge the seyd Will'm 
Rede and his executors of and for all and syngler soms of money &c. And it is also 


further agreed &c. that it shall be lawful to the seyd inhabitants and evry man ells to 
sey that the seyd comen was bought and p'chased with the money of the seyd Will'm 
Rede and the money of the seyd inhabitants, remayning in the possession of the 
seid Will'm Rede to th'use of. the seyd inhabitants without offendyng of the seyd 
Will'm Rede, and yt the seyd Will'm Rede shall not be offendyd wyth the seid report 
but be content therwith and not to sue or treble eny man for so seying." 

Still it appears great jealousies existed in the breasts of a majority of the inhabitants, 
on account of the exclusive power which was given by the letters patent to the family 
of Rede, of making rules and constitutions for the government of the fen ; a power 
which does not seem to have been very temperately exercised. The townsmen 
therefore, three years afterwards, (1543) procured a revocation of the former grant, 
on the ground of non-performance of certain conditions, and obtained a new grant 
to themselves, by virtue of which the fen was to be governed by four Fenrceves, chosen 
annually from among the inhabitants. This gave satisfaction for a time, as it was 
nearly what they had been accustomed to under the abbots. But considerable expense 
had been incurred, to defray which, it was resolved to resort to the former expedient of 
enclosing and demising; and this led the way to fresh disputes, and a renewal of 
the quarrel with the family of Rede. 

For the space of forty years these animosities were kept up with the utmost rancour 
on both sides ; during which time, various suits at law were prosecuted, which proved 
very expensive and decided nothing. The peaceable householders (for in the whole 
body of the householders of the town was vested the right of choosing the four Fen- 
reeves) refused to attend at the annual election, on account of the desperate affrays 
which usually took place on that occasion ; and therefore ordinances were made to 
compel their attendance. At length the authority of the Fenreeves was set at defiance, 
and every one seized such of the archives as he could possess himself of, and either 
retained or destroyed them. The latter fate seems generally to have attended them ; 
for notwithstanding an order or constitution, " touching bringeinge in of the evidence," 
made a few years after, in which heavy fines and punishments were denounced against 
all such as should refuse " to bring in the said evidences, writeings, accounts, books, 
rolls, leasses, and all other nots and writeings aforesaid, undefaced and uncancelled, 
or in as good case as the same now be," very few of these documents are at present to 
be found. 

It would be useless to detail the particulars of these disputes, even if the 
memorandums of them which remain rendered it possible to do it with impartiality. 
The issue of them was, a surrender of the fen, with all the rights, &c., to Queen 
Elizabeth, by an act of the inhabitants in general, assembled at the church, January 26, 
1584; the instrument of which surrender was subscribed by the churchwardens and 


other inhabitants, and sealed with the common seal of the town. But although this 
surrender seems to have been sanctioned by a majority of the inhabitants, there was 
still a large party in opposition to the measure, who endeavoured by false reports, 
and groundless insinuations, to render the promoters of it unpopular. The lower 
classes were made to believe that their rights were to be done away, and that certain 
individuals were about to purchase the common to themselves and their heirs: in 
consequence of which, fresh riots and disturbances arose every day ; the pound, gates, 
&c., were destroyed, and the windows of the guild-hall demolished. The measure, 
however, which met with so much opposition, was the most prudent that could possibly 
have been pursued. The instrument of surrender set forth, that it was made to the 
intent and purpose that the fen might be granted again, in a more effectual manner, to 
a select body of the inhabitants, who were to be incorporated under the name of the 
Portreeve, Surveyors, and Commonalty of the Fen of Ikccles, in the county of Suffolk. 
Letters patent were accordingly granted, bearing date on the 2nd July, 1584, by which 
the Corporation was erected and constituted in the form which it still retains, and 
to whom the fen was re-granted in as ample a manner as it had been granted by the 
former letters patent of Henry VI IT. 

Tn the year 1 (>().">, the charter granted by Queen Elizabeth, and afterwards 
confirmed by her, was still further confirmed by James I., on the 19th of May. Some 
attempts were made, about the twenty-first of James I., to invalidate the charter, 
by one Lockington, and also by a Mr. Vanghan, the rector of P>cccles, but they only 
tended to ratify and strengthen it. Some issues also appear to have been tried about 
this time, tending to ascertain the magisterial jurisdiction of the Portreeve ; when it was 
found, that his authority extended no farther than to the affairs of the fen, and to 
enforcing the laws made for the government of it. 

In 1052, an order was received by Mr. Joseph Cutlovc, the Portreeve, from the 
Committee for Corporations, then sitting in the Queen's Court at Westminster, to 
appear before the said committee, with the charter, on the 30th of December, in 
conformity to an order of parliament, of the 14th of September, in that year, " touching 
the alteration and renewing of the severall and respective charters of this nation ; when, 
after serious debate had thereon, it was judged most agreeable with and suitable to 
the government of a commonwealth, that they be held from and under the authority 
of the same." This order created no small alarm to the Corporation, since, at all 
events, it would prove an expensive business ; and they feared also, lest they should 
lose their present charter, and receive in return another, which, under a change of 
the present unstable government, might not prove equally valid and secure. They there- 
fore obtained, by the mediation of certain members, who were friends of the Portreeve, 
an extension of the time fixed for their attendance on the committee ; and this ex- 


tension was renewed from time to time, under various pretexts, till the business was for- 
gotten. Thus, by the good management of the Portreeve and his friends, the charter of 
King James remained safe and unaltered in their possession, as it still continues. 14 

By the charter of James I., the inhabitants of Bcccles were constituted a body 
corporate, by the name of the Portreeve of the Feu of Beccles in the county of Suffolk, 
and the Surveyors and Commonalty of the said Fen. They had a grant of a common 
seal, with a power to plead and be impleaded, to purchase, give, grant, and demise ; 
to have, hold, and enjoy, the aforesaid fen for ever, by fealty, and a rent of 13s. kd. to 
be paid annually at the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, in lieu of all services, 
exactions, and demands whatsoever. And for the good government of the fen and the 
inhabitants, the Portreeve, Surveyors, and Commonalty of the said fen, and their 
successors for ever, were to have the assistance of Common Councilmen selected out 
of the inhabitants of the town, composed of two classes, called the twelves, and the 
twenty -fours. The Portreeve to be annually elected out of the twelves, and to 
continue in office one year. The first Portreeve thus elected was John Baas. They 
were also empowered to build a council-house, to be called the guild-hall ; to erect 
a prison; to call assemblies; to make laws and rules and by-laws, touching the good 
rule and government of the fen ; and to dispose of the profits for the common utility 
and benefit of the inhabitants ; and other pious and charitable uses. The Portreeve 
and Surveyors to be chosen on the Monday after Lady-day, and new elections to be 
made in case of death or displacement within twelve days. The date of this charter is 
May 19th, the second of James I. 

The government of Becclcs is now vested, under the Municipal Reform Act of 1835, 
in a Mayor, four Aldermen, and twelve Councillors. The borough is co-extensive with 
the parish. It has no commission of the peace, but the Mayor is a magistrate in right 
of his office, and during the year subsequent to his mayoralty. 

The old seal of the corporation bears the date of 1584. On it is a representation 
of the town gaol, in front of which is a pound enclosing three oxen. The legend is 

It is flatly cut, and is now disused, being superseded by that of the present corporation. 
On the new seal is a very fair delineation of the south porch of the parish church ; 
which, though an exquisite piece of architecture, is an inappropriate symbol of the 
temporal government of the town. Both these seals are deficient in that picturesque 
effect which distinguishes those of what modern arrogance has been pleased to call the 
barbarous ages. 

The ancient commerce of Bcccles was confined to the herring-fishery. Myriads 

14 Extract from a small book entitled ' an Account of the Corporation of Beccles Fen.' 
VOL. I. B 


of these fish must have frequented the estuaries of the Yare and Waveney at that early 
period ; for besides the tale of 60,000 paid annually to the Crown as a fee-farm rent 
for Beccles, Domesday records many similar imposts payable by the several villages 
and towns along their shores, varying in quantity according to the wealth and 
population of the places. For the convenience of those buying and selling this article 
of merchandize in Beccles, a chapel was erected on the west side of the market-place, 
and dedicated to St. Peter, he being the patron of fishermen, and a fisherman himself. 

In the year 1205, the Abbot of Bury obtained a grant for a fair to be held here for 
eight days, commencing on St. Peter's day, the 29th of June; which grant is recorded 
in the Pipe Rolls of that reign in the following terms : 

" Abbas de Sc Edm r : comp : de j marc p -. habend : j feria viij dies apud 
Beccles." 15 

In the reign of King Edward I., the Commissioners appointed by that monarch 
to inquire into the abuses committed in the kingdom during his absence in Palestine, 
reported that at this fair, the Rural Dean had for thirty years past unjustly taken tolls, 
without any warrant whatever.' 6 

As the waters receded from the valley of the Waveney, the herring-fishery gradually 
declined, and the chapel of St. Peter became less frequented, and finally fell into disuse. 
Divine service, however, was performed in it as late as the year 1470, for William 
Symonds by will, dated the 15th of December in that year, leaves " fabrics ecclesise de 
Heccles vj rf : capellse Scti Petri de Beccles iiij rf ." 17 

Dr. Tanner says, " St. Peter's chapel was never under the cure of the Rector of 
St. Michael, yet it was no parish church, and no chantry, and had no monks, canons, or 
friars belonging to it ; and yet several persons were buried therein." 18 

This chapel was seized by the King on the dissolution of religious houses, and 
granted with the manor and advowson of Beccles in 1541 to William Rede, who 
disposed of it to be held by copy of court-roll ; for in the will of Margaret Thurston, 
dated the 20th of December, 1595, she deviseth "one ground or yard of copyholde 
with the houses, buildings and appurtenances called St. Peter's church-yard, or known 
by that name, in Beccles." And in 1583, it is recorded that "Margaret Thurston, 
widowe, holdcth to her and to her heirs, by copy of court-roll of the xxvj of her Majesty's 

15 Rot. Pip. de A" 7 R. Johan. 

6 Rotuli HunJredorum. These valuable records contain inquisitions taken in pursuance of a special 
commission issued under the Great Seal in the second of Edward I. They furnish evidence of almost 
every family of importance at that time, and of many facts of high interest from the year 12/4 to 1317 ; 
and the assistance they afford the genealogist and topographer may be estimated by the indexes of names, 
which contain references to about 70,000 persons. 

MSS. id Tanner's MSS. pen. Epis. Norwic. 


reign, all that the olde chirche-yarde at the west end of the olde markett-place, of ould 
tyme called St. Peter's chirche : the footpaths taken out of the same only excepted ; and 
payeth therefore by year." 19 

The site of this chapel and cemetery is indicated by Mr. Webster's house and 
garden. Upon the decay of the herring-fishery, the old part of the town which had 
principally occupied the low site near the bridge, became gradually deserted. Houses 
sprung up on the higher ground, and streets were progressively extended to the south of 
the church-yard. Hence the market-place became inconveniently situated, and a new 
area was selected for that purpose. This movement seems to have been simultaneous 
with the rebuilding of St. Michael's church; for in 1379, which is a few years after 
that noble fabric was commenced, it was returned that Reginald Hakoun and John 
Fittele had enclosed certain parcels of land near the flesh-stalls in the new market 
of Beccles, which were valued at 8(7. per annum. " Quasd : p ccllas terr : juxta le 
Fleshstalls, ad no am Mercat: ville de Bekeles, &c.'"' 20 

The bridge mentioned in 1268, when the Abbot of Bury obtained his grant of 
free-fishery "a ponte de Beccles," was probably of timber. The present bridge was 
begun about the year 1437 ; for in a will dated that year is a legacy " ad fundationem 
pontis de Beccles," and in another, dated 14-52, we find a bequest " ad fachmuu novi 
pontis de Beccles." 21 

The low spring of the centre arch for those on the sides arc of a later construction 
shows that the river has altered very little in expanse and depth since the period 
of its erection. There was formerly a hermitage and a chapel attached to it, at 
the foot of this bridge, dedicated to St. Mary, wherein an anchorite, who subsisted 
by the contributions of passengers, performed divine service. The erection of small 
chapels on or near the foot of ancient bridges was very frequent in early times, and the 
most beautiful specimen existing, or perhaps that was ever erected of its kind, is that on 
Wakefield bridge, built about the time of Edward III. Of the style or elegance 
of this at Beccles it is now impossible to speak, but it seems to have been rebuilt 
in the year 1500, when we meet with a legacy "to the new chapel of St. Mary;" 
and in 1 523, William Best, by will, gives to the chapel at the bridge xx. rf 22 

The site of this little establishment is pointed out by a modern public house, called 
the Hermitage, and is the property of St. Michael's church, its rents being appropriated 
to the repairs of that fabric. These are at present almost nominal ; a lease of the 
premises having been granted some years since to Thomas Fan, Esq., who covenanted 
to erect a substantial house thereon. The full value of the estate will revert to the use 
of the church in 1852. 

J9 Jermjn MSS. Brit. Mus, 2 * Plac. 3 Ric. 2. 2I Tanner's MSS. 22 Idem. 


The participation of Beccles in the horrid persecutions for Religion's sake, which 
disgraced the reign of Queen Mary, has been already detailed. The scene of these 
barbarities was the old market-place. Besides the three victims who were burnt to 
death, Richard Fletcher and Matilda his wife, Richard Knobbing, and many others, 
were compelled by threats or torture to abjure then 1 faith. 23 

The most serious temporal calamity on record which ever visited Beccles, occurred 
on the 29th of November, 1586. On the eve of St. Andrew, in that year, a fire 
broke out in the chimney of one of the smaller houses in the town, which, being 
fanned by a violent gale of wind blowing at the time, rapidly increased to an awful 
conflagration, which it was found impossible to arrest, as the river, though so early 
in the season, was hard frozen. It raged with greatest violence in the vicinity of the 
new market. The roof, seats, and wood-work of the church were consumed, though 
the walls and the stone-work of the windows escaped destruction. The lower part of 
the >teeplc remains blackened with smoke in a very remarkable degree to the present day. 

Above eighty houses fell a sacrifice to the flames; and goods and property were 
damaged, and stolen in the confusion, to the amount of 20,000, as even then 
estimated. If we multiply this sum by five or even fom-, to bring it to proportionate 
modern valuation, we shall obtain a vivid picture of the wealth and flourishing condition 
of Becclcs at that (lay. 

A ballad, written by Thomas Delone, entitled ' A proper new Sonnet, declaring the 
Lamentation of Beccles,' &c., was printed in commemoration of this event ; a copy 
of which, in black letter, has been recently discovered in the library of the Royal 
Society; having been used in the binding of an old Italian work, printed in 1584. 
Its merits as a composition are trifling, but it has become a valuable record of this 
awful calamity. Contributions, in aid of the sufferers from this fire, were raised 
throughout the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. Blomefield mentions a sum of money 
as having been collected in the parish of Ilarpham " for the burning of Beccles." In 
the book of the Mayor's Court at Norwich, in the reign of Elizabeth, is this entry 
connected with our subject. " William Fleming, preacher of Beccles, raised in court of 
Mr. Mayor, 30. 10. 8d., which was collected in this city towards the re-edifying 
of Beccles church, which was lately burnt." 24 

In 1590, Nicholas Moss, of Southwold, gave to the town of Beccles 20, towards 
repairing the church. 25 Many legacies for the same purpose were left, and one as late 
as the year 1600. 

In 1662, the town was again damaged by fire. The old manor-house, situated 
in a back street near the House of Correction ; and an ancient timber building in the 

'" Fox. 2^ Jermyn MSS. *s Tanner's MSS. 


new market-place, with a few others in the obscurer parts of the town, escaped these 
conflagrations. The extent of this second disaster must have been considerable, if 
we may judge from the number of dwelling-houses erected in the style which marks 
this era. These may be instantly recognised by their semicircular gables, which, 
following a still older fashion, front the streets. 

There was also a third fire in Beccles in 1667 ; and a fourth, and very considerable 
one, in 1 669. 26 

Before the Reformation there were six guilds or fraternities of craftsmen, in this 

1. The Guild of the Holy Ghost, to which fraternity William Smith, of Weston, by 
will, dated 27th of October, 1504, gave as follows: "Item, I bequeathe to the Holy 
Ghost Gilde in Beccles, lxx s . viij rf . Thomas Leeke, of Beccles, bequeathed, in 1503, to 
the same guild xx s . William Brett, in 1533, gave the same guild vi s . viij''. TamuT 
says a piece of land appertained to this fraternity called Holy Ghost Close, and was 
lately a part of an estate of John Crispe ; or else his lands joined it. 

2. St. 'Michael's Guild, which belonged to the present church. In 1504, William 
Smith, of Weston, gave to this guild x s . 

Thomas Leeke, who was instituted Hector of this parish in 1467, and died in 1503, 
also gave vi s . viij'*. 

3. The Ascension Guild, which seems to have been but a small society. William 
Brett, in 1533, gave to this guild xiK 

4. The Guild of the Holy Trinity. 

5. The Guild of the Holy Name of Jesus. 

6. The Guild of St. Nicholas. 27 

At a meeting held on the 8th of March, 1760, the Corporation of Beccles granted 
ten pounds " for y e p curing of farthings for y e com on utility of y e poore." Dies 
were accordingly procured, and farthings struck off, and circulated about the town. 
These were all called in about two years after they were issued, by the command of tin: 
Crown. The dies are preserved in the corporation chest, and from them the impressions 
were obtained in wax, which furnished drawings for the following engravings. 

26 Tanner's MSS. 


In 1726, the Quarter Sessions, which are held here for this division of the county, 
were removed from Beccles to Lowestoft, and held alternately in these towns ; but after 
a few years were restored to Beccles. In the same, or the following year, the present 
Town-Hall was built, at a charge of 423. 8*., towards which the inhabitants contri- 
buted 71. IVs. Gd. The materials of the old Hall and Cross sold for 87. 10*., and 
the remainder seems to have been paid out of the county stock, by order of Sessions. 28 
It would be absurd to criticize the character of a building professing to be an imitation 
of the pointed architecture, erected at the period in question, when the genius of that 
bewitching style lay consigned to unmerited neglect. It will be sufficient, therefore, to 
observe, that in accommodation it is found deficient, and that it is contemplated to 
replace it by a more commodious structure at no distant period, though nothing 
definitive is at present determined on. 

On the -2nd and 9th of January, 1813, the following order for the alteration of the 
day for holding the market appeared in the 'Ipswich Journal.' "At the request of the 
inhabitants of the town of Beccles and its neighbourhood, I, Robert Sparrow, Lord of 
the Manor of Beccles, do hereby order and direct, that after Saturday the 23rd of 
January next, the above market shall be held and kept in the new market-place in 
Beccles aforesaid, on Friday in every week, in lieu of Saturday, the present market- 
day. Given under my hand this 2fith day of December, 181.2. ROBT. SPARROW." 

In consequence of this notice, Beccles market was held on Fridays for about three 
months ; when the alteration having been found inconvenient, it was restored to the old 
time, and continues to be held on Saturdays as heretofore. 


There was a church at Beccles, at the time of the Domesday Survey, endowed with 
twenty-four acres of glebe. This was, no doubt, the structure raised by the Abbot of 
Bury, which gave name to the town. The present church occupies the site of this 
foundation, and was erected about the middle of the fourteenth century. A will, in the 
Bishop's office at Norwich, dated 1369, contains a legacy "ad fabric-am novae ecclesise 
de Beccles;" soon after which period it was probably completed, as in 1374, Reginald 
de Ikelynghani leaves by will to the altar of St. Michael's church of Beccles, vj* viij d . 29 
William Symonds de Beccles, by will dated 15 Dec. 1470, "legat fabrics ecclesise de 
Beccles, vj d ." 30 As the manor and advowson of Beccles formed part of the possessions 
of Bury Abbey, its architect was, without doubt, a monk of that establishment ; and 

28 MS. Blowers. Will Book, Hevdon. w Harl. MSS. 


from the mixed and broken materials employed in its walls, it is evidently, in part, 
constructed out of the older fabric. 

We cannot contemplate the entire mass of this edifice, including its tower, without 
discovering a majestic air about it, well suited to the sacred purposes of its destination, 
yet it does not possess an exact symmetry of component parts, and is meagre throughout 
in the distribution of ornament. Its greatest fault is want of elevation ; a requisite of 
ecclesiastical beauty, in which it is vastly exceeded by many of the churches in Suffolk, 
and it exhibits a heavy and mean clerestory very unusual in buildings of its era. It is 
of a simple ground-plan, comprising a nave and chancel of equal width and height, 
being 148 feet long, and 61^ wide, by interior admeasurement, with two aisles extending 
the entire length of the fabric ; and a north and south porch ; though before the Re- 
formation it possessed also two small cross aisles or chantry chapels. The two expanded 
windows opposite to each other in the aisles, Avhose enlarged dimensions differ so 
strikingly from the other lights, were originally arches only, without tracery, and being 
open to the level of the ground, gave access to these oratories. The tilling up by 
masonry of the arch on the south side, to the level of the other window sills, is too 
obvious to require pointing out. That on the north side is better wrought, but a careful 
examination will show that a like operation has been effected there. 

One of these transept chapels was probably dedicated to St. Mary, for Reginald de 
Ikelyngham, already mentioned, in addition to his legacy to the High Altar of the 
church, leaves a donation of XL pence to the Altar of St. Mary. 31 

But the finest feature of Beccles Church is its almost unique porch. The effect it 
produces, arising from its bold projection and octangular turret, is very picturesque ; 
and the delicate taste displayed in the conception and arrangement of its enrichments 
the minute finish of its parts and the excellency of its masonry, will ever command 
admiration. The style of its composition and ornaments is an unfailing evidence of its 
date, which is somewhat later than that of the body of the church ; an opinion confirmed 
by a will preserved in the Archdeacon's office, dated 1455, wherein the testator gives to 
the building of the new porch xx s . On its front are the arms of Bury Abbey, and a 
profile of St. Edmund. 

All the enrichments of this elegant porch were originally painted and gilt, agreeably 
to the usual practice ; and fragments of these decorations existed in considerable pro- 
fusion till about forty years since, when two artizans scraped from its niches and 
tabernacle-work sufficient lapis-lazuli to render then- journey from London, made for this 
purpose, a profitable speculation. 

The room over this porch was formerly used as the Scriptorium of the church, 32 

al Will Book, Heydon. 32 Jermyn MSS. 


which accounts for the collection of old books kept there till the last few years. It has 
a small lattice which commanded a view of the interior of the church, till intercepted by 
the erection of the organ. 

The detached situation of Beccles steeple gains for it many a look, which its majestic 
proportions might otherwise fail to arrest. And yet a detached bell-tower is not of very 
unusual occurrence. Without noticing those beyond the limits of the county, it may be 
sufficient to instance two, near at hand ; those at Bramfield and Bury St. Edmund's. 

Beccles steeple was begun soon after 1500, and occupied nearly forty years in 
building. I will not say completing, for it is even yet unfinished. The first legacy 
given to it is by a will bearing date in 1515, and from that time till 1547 there are 
many legacies towards building " Beccles Stecpul." 

The state of incompletion in which we find this noble pile has an easy solution in the 
ruin of Bury Abbey, which was dissolved while the upper portion was yet in progress. 

The proportions of this tower are a base of 40 feet, by an elevation of 92 ; and its 
excellency consists in a broad commanding mass rising firmly from its foundations. 
Ik-sides the arms of (Jarncys, Rede, and Bowes, benefactors towards its construction, 
there are three niches in its western, or principal front, which probably contained the 
same eltigics as were placed in the front of Bury Abbey ; namely, St. Edmund, Our 
Saviour, and the Virgin Mary; or possibly St. Michael, to whom the church is dedicated. 
The three former figures were in front of the Abbey gate. 33 

The tower contains a clock with chimes, and ten bells, some of which are not in very 
excellent condition. 

The erection of the tower in its present situation was in consequence of the fear that 
its weight might carry away the cliff, had it been placed at the west end. There is no 
doubt, that although its foundations were not laid till long after the church was com- 
pleted, its site was determined on from the first, as none of the pillars in the church are 
of sufficient magnitude to sustain so ponderous a mass. 

At the end of the chancel, beneath the exterior of the great east window, are the 
arms of Bury Abbey, and Garneys, with " St. Michael, ora pro nobis," inlaid in flint. 
In a small niche here formerly stood an image of Our Saviour ; for in the will of Osbert 
Deering, dated August the 12th, 1558, his body is ordered to be buried within the 
church-yard of St. Michael of Beccles, " at the este end of the said church, against the 
picture of Christ, standing in the same church wall." 

On the sides of the west door are St. Edmund's crowns and arrows cut in several 
places, and the popish device of the arms of the Holy Trinity. One of the leaves of this 
door escaped the great fire of 1586. 

33 Jerayn MSS. 

F liedford Lithe, Londo: 


London, Jo.HuWeale,1845. 

PrtntAd by Standia(0e,C?. 


On entering the interior of this spacious edifice, the pleasure experienced from con- 
templating its vast proportions is damped by the evidences of neglect and tastelessness 
which pervade it. A wretched gallery is placed against part of the south wall of the 
aisle, which is already drawn from the perpendicular, by the injudicious practice no 
longer permitted of digging graves abutting upon the exterior. A regard for the 
stability of the fabric, if none be yielded to taste, demands the removal of this ex- 
crescence. An ill-drawn representation of the Crucifixion, in very opaque coloured 
glass, disfigures the east window ; and urns with flames of fire emblems of any thing 
but a Christian's hope should be removed from the vestry screen. The roof, and 
the corbels which support its beams, were erected probably soon after the great fire : 
the latter are ornaments in accordance with no period of the pointed style. 

A noble organ occupies the entire western end of the nave. Its position is to lie 
regretted, which blocks out a large window, that in former days diffused a flood of 
glowing light through the length of the interior. 

There are few internal decorations. The font by its style evidently belonged to the 
older church, and is small and plain. It was repaired in 1470, at the expense of 
William Symonds, of Beccles, who by his will gave to the reparation " magni fontis do 
Beccles iij*. iuj d . 

An altar-tomb, sculptured with some effigies of children, and somewhat mutilated, 
stands against the wall of the south aisle of the chancel, though this is not its original 

It is said to commemorate the family of John Rede, Mayor of Norwich, who died in 
1502, though the number of children, placed on the tomb, does not exactly accord with 
that inscribed on his gravestone, which lies in the chancel, though now covered with 
pews. On the tomb are represented eight sons and three daughters, while the epitaph 
says, " John Rede, Mayor of Norwich, dyed the xi of Novr. in anno MDII. Joan his 
wyffe, with viij sons and iiij daughters, which Joan dyed in anno MDIII." This number 
of daughters is confirmed by the pedigrees of Rede recorded in the Heraldic Visitations, 
VOL. i. c 



and as there are no armorial bearings on the tomb, it remains a matter of uncertainty to 
what family it belongs. A splendid screen of oak, which divided the nave from the 
chancel, the design probably of some monk of Bury, perished in the fire of 1586. 

The windows of this church exhibit a great variety of tracery, much of which is very 
elegant, though inferior to the still more graceful forms fashionable in the preceding 
generation. The exuberance of fancy displayed in these may possibly be accounted for, 
by supposing each to be the gift of some pious individual, who, while he perpetuated his 
munificence, marked also his taste and ingenuity. 

The vault under the south aisle, now used as a charnel-house, was probably a crypt 
of the older church ; as few sacred buildings of an early period were erected without a 


subterraneous chapel or undercroft. By the Norman architects they were considered an 
essential and constituent part of every church, and were possibly first constructed to 
commemorate the practice of the early Christians who worshipped " in dens and caves of 
the earth." No part of the masonry, however, which can be discerned in this vault, is 
older than the superincumbent mass ; and the conjecture that it was formerly a chapel 
originates in the circumstance, that in 1509 a legacy was given to the reparation of Our 
Lady's chapel in the Arch, which would seem to allude to this crypt ; because in 1528, 
and again in the following years, are various bequests to a chapel of St. Mary in Beccles 
church-yard. 3 * 

On the 6th of April, 1643, this church was visited by William Dowsing, who was 
by no means inactive here. His journal details his proceedings at Beccles thus. 
" Jehovahs between the church and chancel, and the sun over it : and by the altar ' my 
flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed,' and two crosses which we gave 
orders to be taken down ; one was on the porch ; the other on the steeple : also many 
superstitious pictures ; the number about forty. Six several crosses ; Christ's, Virgin 
Mary's, St. George's, and three more : thirteen crosses in all. Jesus and Mary in 
letters, and the twelve apostles." 

In 1672, a license for a seat in this church was granted to Robert Batho, and is 
probably the only faculty pew in the edifice. The following return of sittings which this 
church contains was made to the Bishop by the Rural Dean, in July, 1844. 

Sittings occupied by 

Professional gentlemen . . . . 163 

Tradesmen 384 

Labourers ....... 288 

Free and Sunday schools . . . . . 194 

Private boarding schools ....... 77 

Servants C6 

Singers 40 

Total .... 1212 

The parish registers are not very ancient, as they do not commence before 1586. 

In 1460, William Neve, by his will, desires to be buried in Beccles church, and the 
following monumental records, which have now disappeared, recorded the interments 
of several members of the Garneys family : 

Robert Garneys, Esq., died xiiij Maij 1411. Kateren his wyef 1405. Peter 
Garneys died 1413. Edward Garneys died May 3, 1485. Thomas Garneys died 
1527. 35 

34 Tanner's MSS. pen. Epis. Norwic. K MSS. Wm. Le Neve. 


On old stones now covered by the floors of modern pews are the following 
memorials : 

William Rede of Beckelles and Margaret his wycf, which Margaret dyed in anno 
MDXL, and had v sons and vij daughters. 

On a stone near the vestry door are the arms of Leman, Az. a fess between three 
dolphins cmbowed arg, quartering Suckling, Per pale, gules and az. 3 bucks trippant, 
or. The inscription is now covered by the floor of a pew, but the stone commemorates 

the decease of Leman, Esq., or his wife, daughter of Charles 

Buckling, Esq., of Bracondale, who died of the great plague in 1666. 

Among many modern memorials these are briefly recorded : 

Robert Davy, late Master of the Free School, died May 10, 1797, aged 54. 

Charles Chaston Assey, Surgeon to the Hon. East India Company Service, died at 
Kidderpore in Bengal, aged 41. 

William Crowfoot, Gent., died 25 March, 1793. 

Sir Robert Castleton, descended from Sir Win. Castleton, Bart., of Stuston Hall in 
Suffolk, died Feb. 9, 1715, aged 59. 

Joseph Arnold, M.I)., Surgeon R.N., and Fellow of the Linnsean Society of London, 
and of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh, born at Beccles in 1784, died in 
Sumatra, July 19, 1818. 

The Rev. Bence Bence, Rector of Beccles, died 20 Sept. 1824, aged 77. His wife, 
daughter of Win. Elmy, Esq., died June 9, 1815, aged 56. 

Catharine, widow of Nicholas Starkie, Esq., of Frenchwood in Lancashire, anil 
youngest daughter of Robt. Edgar, of Ipswich, Esq., died 10th of April, 1814, aged 47. 

Sebastian Pitficld, died 1692. Renaldo Pitfield, died 1700. 

Isaac Blowers, Gent., died Nov. 1819, aged 93. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Robert filius Rogeri . 1291 Abbot of Bury, 

Henry <le Bromleye . 1314 Id. 

Gilbertus de Ilketshall . 1319 Id. 

William Mareschall . 1323 Id. 

Stephen de Holcote . 1323 Id. 

Johannes de Stantone . 1326 Id. 

William Mitchell . . 1331 Id. 

Edmond de Welle . . 1375 Id. 

William de Ely . . 1397 Id. 

Johannes Brampton . 1403 Id. 

Johannes Atte Gate 1405 Id. 




William Aslake 
William Olton, LL.B. 

Johannes LL.B. 

William Osgodby 
William Ascogh 
Johannes Plente 
Robert Pevesey 
Thomas Leek, A.M. 
Thomas Rede 
Thomas Yaxley 
Thomas Garnett 
Ralph Newton 
Thomas Whitby, S.T.P. . 
Ralph Newton 
John Balkey 
George Buckley 
Thomas Nuce 
William Fleming 
John After . , 


Richard Mileson 
John Cowe 
Thomas Armstrong 
Thomas Page 
Peter Routh . 
Bence Sparrow 
Hugh Owen . 

Estimatio ecclie xxxii 




Abbot of Bury. 

Anthony Rouse, Esq., by purchase of the Abbot. 
Sir Thomas Gresham and wife. 

William Rede, Esq. 
Sir Thomas Gresham and wife. 
Dame Anne Gresham. 

The Crown. 
Mr. Bence. 

R. Sparrow, Esq., and wife. 



Earl of Gosford. 

marc: Synodalia p r an: xii d Denarij S. Petri, xij ob . 


This Hospital, which was appropriated to the use of persons afflicted with the 
loathsome disease of leprosy, was dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene and St. Anthony, 
and stood on the south side of the town upon the spot now known as St. Mary's Hill. 
The date of its foundation is not exactly ascertained, but the establishment is mentioned 
in an escheat roll of Edward III, dated 1362, wherein Sir Richard Walkfare, Knight, 
Ralph de Hemenhale, Thomas Savage, John de limestone, and Alexander de Brusyard, 
parson of Barsham, gave to the hospital of St. Mary Magdalene at Beccles xx shillings 
annual rent, issuing out of the manors of Barsham and Herst. 

Tradition relates that one Ramp, who was very much afflicted with leprosy, was 


perfectly cured of his disorder by accidentally bathing in a spring of water near this 
spot, where he soon after erected an hospital for the benefit of persons so affected. 36 

It was governed by a Master who, probably, officiated as Chaplain. Several wills 
in 1367, and 1374, contain bequests "leprosis hospitali de Bekeles." 37 

According to the manuscript of Le Neve, Henry Beudes gave a stipend of four 
pounds to this hospital, but the donation is not confirmed by any existing document. 
This establishment was not dissolved by Henry VIII. ; for Edward VI, in the fourth 
year of his reign, granted license to Edward Lydgate, a brother of the hospital, to beg 
daily for the Lazars' house at Beccles. And by a deed, dated 18th day of May, 17th 
of Queen Elizabeth, "between Humphreye Trame, master of the hospital of St. Mary 
Magdelin at Beccles, and the bretherne and system of the said hospital, on the one part, 
and .Margaret limy of Yoxford, on the other part, it is witnessed, that the said Humfry 
and the brethern and system, of their godly love and intent have not only takyn the 
savd Margaret into the said hospytall bcinge a sore diseased p son wythe an horyble 
syckness, but also have admytted and made the seyd Margaret a syster of the same 
lions during her natural! lyff, accordinge to the auncyent custom and order of the same ; 
trustynge in our Lord God, wythe the helpe and dcvocon of good dysposed people, to 
prepare for the same Margaret, mete, drink, clotlunge, washinge, chamberinge, and 
lodgingc, good and holsom, duringe the naturall lyff of the said Margaret, mete for such 
a p son." 

The above-mentioned Humphrey Tramc, by his will, dated A. D. 1596, gave to this 
hospital " one bible, one service-book, and y e desk to them belonging, to go and 
remain for ever, with the hospital of St. Mary Magdalen, to the intent that the sick 
then and there abiding, for the comfort of their souls may have continual recourse 
unto the same." 38 

Soon after this period, it appears that the hospital fell into great disorder and mis- 
management; for in 1619, William Stedman, then Master, was compelled to resign his 
mastership, in consideration of an annuity of 10 to be paid him and his wife for the 
term of their natural lives, " because that it doth now appeare that the said hospitali is 
not imployed according to the true intent and meaneinge of the said ffeoffament, in 
respect of the undue disturbance of some of the said ffeoffees in the placeing of a govnor 
who do not only abuse the poore here, but also keepe great disorder in the said hospitali." 
The charges of misconduct laid against Stedman, who in another deed is called a 
" ffisherman," are of too scandalous a nature to be repeated. It is expressly stated, that 
even the chapel appertaining to the establishment was the frequent scene of the lewd 

36 Jermvn MSS. v Will Book, Heydon. 

38 Will Book, Archdeacon's Office, fol. 45. 


debaucheries of himself and his profligate associates. By a subsequent deed, however, 
dated 29 June, 1622, new feoffees were appointed, and Stedman replaced in the 

In 1673, a petition was drawn up by Mr. John Denney, Portreeve of Beccles, and 
others of the corporation, for presentation to the Bishop of the Diocese, requesting his 
Lordship, by any means which he shall think fit, to obtain a grant from His Majesty for 
investing the hospital lands, with its appurtenances, in the corporation of Beccles, for the 
use of the poor inhabiting the said town. 

Tanner relates that he saw, in 1730, a grant, amongst the muniments of the corpo- 
ration, whereby Charles II., in 1675, granted the aforesaid hospital, with its lands and 
appurtenances, to the Portreeve, &c., of Beccles, for the maintenance of the poor for 
ever. This grant, however, is now lost. 

In a small book, drawn up in 1807, for the use of the corporation of Beccles, and 
reprinted in 1826, a translation of a long grant is given, dated 1674, whereby King 
Charles conveys the lands, tenements, rents and hereditaments, &c., of this hospital, to 
the Portreeve, Surveyors, and Commonalty of the fen of Beccles, to have and to hold them 
for ever, paying to the King and his successors, out of the said premises 1 , four shillings 
of lawful money of England, on the feast of St. Michael the Archangel. In this deed, 
the chapel and hospital are mentioned as "now wasted;" and yet, which is very re- 
markable, on February the 12th, 1676, two years subsequent, it is ordered, "y'y capital 
house now standing upon the hospitall lands be pulled downe and removed unto one other 
peece of y c said hospitall ground on y e other side of y e way over against it, to make so 
many severall rooms as may be there conveniently placed for the habitations of such 
poore people as y e governors thereof shall think fitt for to place there, and doe appoint the 
p sent officers, and their successors, to see the same done accordingly; and the monies 
disbursed for doing of the same shall be discharged upon their accounts." 

There can be no question that the income of this property was intended to be appro- 
priated to the use of the poor of the town of Beccles, although the grant makes use of 
the word ' Corporation ;' and accordingly it is stated, in an order for a lease of part of 
those lands, to Mr. Crane, in 1675, that " the lands belonging to the Hospital of Beccles, 
were lately granted to this corporacon, for the use of the poore people of Beccles, and 
intrusted to the hands of the said corporacon, for the best advantage for them." And 
again, in 1679, an order was made, that the revenues of the hospital lands should be dis- 
posed of for ever thereafter, to the sole use and benefit of the poor inhabitants of the 
town, according to the King's grant, and that the officers should not dispose of such 
revenues for any other purpose whatever, without the consent of the corporation. The 
account of the income of this property was kept distinct from the general account of the 
Portreeve, until the erection of a parish workhouse in 1684, when the profits of these 


lands were directed to be appropriated, with other money of the corporation, for the use 
of the poor therein. 

On the 31st March, 1788, a lease was granted by the corporation, to Mr. Thomas 
Rede, of the Hospital Hill, which is therein stated to contain four acres ; and of a messuage 
and buildings, standing near thereto, for a term of 200 years ; commencing from the 
5th July following, at the rent of 13 per annum, subject to a fee-farm rent to the 
Crown, and to a quit-rent to the manor of Barsham, amounting together to 4*. M. per 
annum, which Mr. Rede undertook to discharge. By this lease power was given to 
Mr. Rode to take down the buildings then standing on the land : and he covenanted to 
leave, at the end of the term, some houses or buildings, which shall at that time be of 
the full value of 200. 39 

In conformity with the Statute de lepreso amovendo, this hospital or lazar-house had 
a burial ground attached to the chapel, wherein the lepers were buried by themselves. 
.Many human bones, and twelve entire skeletons, were discovered by the labourers em- 
ploved in preparing the ground for the foundation of the present house, erected by 
Mr. Rede on the site of the old buildings. Their bones were deposited in the charnel- 
lionse under St. Michael's church. This burial ground was used by the hospital till the 
year 1590, after which period the corpses of persons dying here were interred in the 
parish church-yard. 


The brief history of the manor of Endgate, which, like the parish itself, has merged 
into that of St. Michael, has been already detailed, and the patronage of its church, 
which seems to have accompanied the manor, became simultaneously vested in the Abbot 
of Bury. 

The church, which was a rectory, dedicated to St. Mary, and valued in the King's 
books at 7. 6s. 8d., stood on the south side of the town. It was taken down by order 
of Queen Elizabeth, " for that the parishes of Beccles and Endgate had been for many 
years so blended together, that the bounds and limits of them could not be known in 
A. D. 1419; when a legal agreement was made by the Bishop, Patron, and Rector of 
both parishes, that the Rector of Beccles should have the whole tithes of both parishes, 
and pay the Rector of Endgate 6. 13. 4. pr. an: so that the inhabitants of Endgate 
have, time out of mind, been esteemed parishioners of Beccles." 

311 Beccles Corporation Book. 



The order for taking down Endgate church is dated the 25th of April, 1577, and 
was granted on the following considerations, viz. " that in commiseration of the charge 
the men of Dunwich sustained by the loss of their port, the said Queen Elizabeth gave, 
or lent, them the money arising by the sale of bells, lead, iron, glass, and stone of 
Ingate church, in the county of Suffolk, which, it appears, were valued at three-score 
sixteen poundes eyghtene shillings and four pence." 

No traces of this church are discoverable on its site, but some fragments which have 
been worked into Beccles bridge, in the course of its reparations, prove it to have been 
an elegant structure, probably surpassing in embellishment, though not in magnitude, 
the church of St. Michael. A capital of one of its columns has been used for many 
years as a horse-block, at the King's Head Inn. This fragment is octangular, with a 
plain moulding. 

Peter Garneys, of Beccles, Esq., by will dated the 20th of August, 1450, desires his 
body to be buried in the north aisle of St. Michael's church, where he had placed a stone 
for his sepulchre ; and bequeathed to the reparation of the high altar of the church at 
Endgate x marks. 



Adam Peverey, de Winton 
John de St. Edmund 
John de Fretenham . 
William de Nassingweeke . 
Hugo de Kelibe 
Richard de Irtilingburgh . 
William Bright 
John Wayte 
William Moraunt 
John Stowe 
Robert Cavell 
John Palling 
Robert Salwys 
Thomas Swayn . . 

William Bradshaw . 
Robert Barker 
William Reede 
John Gymlyn . . . 
Robert Norton 
William Fleming . , 
Brian Warde . 
William Bacon 
VOL. I. 

Date. Patrons. 

1305 Abbot of Bury. 

1309 Id. 

1348 Id. 

1361 The King: the Abbacy vacant. 

1301 Id. 

1371 Abbot of Bury. 

1376 Id. 

1377 Id. 

1381 The King : Abbacy vacant. 

1401 Abbot of Bury. 

1453 Id. 

1479 Id. 

1502 Id. 

1504 Id. 

1531 Id. 

1550 Assignees of Sir Thomas Gresham. 

1572 The Queen. 

1580 Ead. 

1613 The King. 

1641 Id. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Charles Maryveil . . 1680 The King. 

Thomas Armstrong . 1682 Id. 

Samuel Batho . . 1717 Id. 

Walter Symonds . . 1722 Id. 

There seems to have been no presentation after this period to the church at Endgate. 
In 1764, when the Rev. Peter Routh took the living of Beccles, a sequestration of 
Endgate was granted; and again in 1774, when the Rev. Bence Sparrow was 
instituted to the parish church of St. Michael. 


This lordship is entitled in the court-books the Manor of Roos Hall and Ashmans 
with the members ; but no separate court is held for Ashmans, neither are the limits of 
the latter defined. The chief part of its copyholds are in Beccles, as is the mansion 
or hall-house ; though I am inclined to believe the manor was included in Domesday 
Book under Barsham, and held at that time by Warin the son of Burnin as tenant 
of Robert Malet, Lord of Eye ; and possibly the estates which Earl Gurth and Bishop 
Aluiar then held in the same parish have been subsequently united with it. 

The manor was, however, very early considered to lie in Beccles, but by an 
inquisitio post mortem of Thomas Garneys, Gent., taken on the 6th of May, 1566, 
it seems to have been then held by him of Thomas Playters, as dependant on his manor 
of Sotterley, but the service does not appear. 40 On the 6th of February, 1575, it was 
determined by a jury to be held of the manor of Beccles, as appears by an ancient 
deed of that date in the possession of the writer. 

In the presentments of the Hundred Rolls, made to King Edward I., the names of 
Henry Asheman, Reginald Ashman, and William Asseman, are mentioned as land- 
owners in the neighbourhood ; and it was from this family, in all probability, that the 
manor obtained its second appellation. 41 

The family of Roos appeared as lords of this manor in the previous reign of 
Henry III. William de Roos was at the siege of Kaerleverock, in Scotland, in 1300, 
where he displayed much valour, and was afterwards created a Knight Banneret. The 
family were Lords of Roos Hall, Ringsfield, Sibton, and Redisham, in the eighth of 
Edward II. 42 In 1321, Sir Robert de Roos was one of the founders of the 
monastery of the Carmelite Friars at Blakeney in Norfolk, and probably resided at 
Roos Hall. " They were not only very ancient," says Sir Richard Gipps, " but also 

40 Harl. MSS. ' Rotuli Hundredorum. "-' Harl. MSS. 


very great, as appears from their several intermarriages with the best families in 
the county." In the reign of Edward III., Elizabeth, daughter of William Roos, 
married William de la Zouch, Baron of Harynworth. 43 

Roos bore, Gules 3 water-bougets, or. 

Roos Hall descended to Sir William de Roos, the younger of the two sons of 
Thomas Roos, who lived in the reign of Richard II. Sir William married Agnes, 
daughter and heiress of William de Nan-ford, and by her obtained the manor of Wisset, 
which passed again with the manor and estate of Roos Hall to Sir Roger de Willington, 
who married Joan, daughter and heiress of Sir William de Roos. The family of 
Willington thus became possessed of Roos Hall in 1427. They were of ancient 
descent, and long seated at Barsham, as they held a third part of the manor of 
Barsham Hall so early as the ninth of Edward II. 44 They were also Lords of 
Blithworth in the tenth of Henry V., and of Wisset in the fifth of Henry VI. John 
de Willington was a Knight Banneret in the time of Edward I., and was at the 
tournament of Dunstable, in the second of Edward II. 45 He bore, Gules, a griffin 
segreant, or. 

Roos Hall passed by purchase from the Willingtons to the family of Garneys. 
In 1566, Thomas Garneys died seized of this manor and Redisham. They were valued 
at twenty marks per annum, and were bequeathed, with other lands, to his executors for 
the term of twenty years, for certain uses specified in his will. He also held forty 
acres of land, fifty of meadow, eighty of pasture, sixty of bosc, and 19 rent in over 
Redisham, nether Redisham, Ringsfield, Weston, Worlingham, Beccles, &c. This 
Thomas Garneys left one daughter, Elizabeth, aged three years, at the time of his death. 

Thomas Colby next occurs as Lord of Roos Hall : he was the fourth husband of 
Ursula, daughter of Edward Rede, and appears as defendant in a Chancery smt against 
Sir ThomasTrresham, who in right of his wife Anne, relict of William Rede, Esq., was 
Lord of the Manor of Beccles. 

The Colbys were of an ancient house in Norfolk and Suffolk, and bore, Sable, 
a chevron between three escallop shells arg. ; within a bordure engrailed of the second. 

John Colby, of Brandish, married Alice, daughter and heiress of John Brewse, 
of Hardwick, Esq., by whom he had issue John, who died childless; and Thomas, 
Francis, and Christopher. Thomas, the eldest surviving son and heir, was seated 
at Beccles, and married first, Beatrice, daughter of Thomas Eelton, of Playford, and 
had issue Thomas, and several other children. His second wife was Ursula Rede, 
relict of Sir John Brand, Knight, by whom he had no issue. Thomas Colby, his eldest 

43 Naunton Pedigree, pen. Rev. E. Rede. ** Harl. MSS. 

45 Collec. Sir R. Gipps an. 1661, Brit. Mus. 



son and heir, lived at Beccles, and married Amy, daughter of Thomas Brampton, 
of Letton in Norfolk, and had issue, Thomas, son and heir, Frances, Philip, Amy, 
Penelope, Elizabeth, Susan, and Mary. 46 

Thomas Colby, who married Ursula Rede, built the present venerable mansion 
called Roos Hall, which he probably finished about 1583, as his initials, T. B. C. with 
that date, remain on the water-pipes of the roof. It is a fine old house of red brick, 
situated like almost all the residences of former days in low grounds, and was 
encompassed by a moat, which, in part, remains. It seems never to have possessed 

" The lofty arched hall " 
which our ancestors considered almost indispensable to their mansions, and where 

" Their clanging bowls old warriors quaff' d," 

but it is furnished with a wide and rather primitive staircase, each step of which is 
formed of a solid block of oak ; and it contains some good and lofty apartments. 
One of the lower rooms retains its huge and pedimented mantel, and several of the 
chambers are fitted with the wainscot, divided into small compartments, which succeeded 
the hangings of tapestry previously employed by our forefathers to cover the walls 
of their apartments. Its turrets and chimneys are distinguished by richly moulded 
brick-work, and the entire pile is lofty, imposing, and well constructed. 

46 Jermyn MSS. 


The tenure of the Colbys was very short, for soon after the year 1600, the manor of 
Roos Hall was purchased by Sir John Suckling, Knight, Secretary of State, and 
Comptroller of the Household, to King James I. Sir John occasionally resided here, 
and at his death bequeathed it to his widow for her life, with remainder to his eldest 
son, Sir John Suckling, the cavalier poet. Lady Suckling afterwards marrying Sir 
Edwin Rich, Knight, carried the estate into that family by a transfer which is not 
very clear. Sir John Suckling had purchased the manor of Barsham Hall in 1613, and 
charged the manor of Roos Hall with 1000, which he had borrowed to complete the 
purchase of the former estate ; leaving the fee of both lordships to his eldest son ; 
his widow enjoying Roos Hall for her life. In his will, Sir John alludes to this 
settlement in these words : " Item, I give to my very loving wife, all her apparell, 
pearles, rings, and jewels, which she now weareth, or hath in her possession ; save only 
one chayne of diamonds, which I lately bought by the help of one Mr. Hardnett, 
a jeweller, and paid one hundred fifty-five pounds for the same ; which is by her 
to be repayd to my executors within one yeare next after my decease, unless my eldest 
sonne and she agree about the redemption of the manor of Rose Hall." What the 
arrangement between these parties was, is not evident; but Sir Edwin Rich died 
in possession of Roos Hall; and by his will, dated April 24th, 1675, charged this 
manor for the term of five hundred years with an annual payment of 20, for charitable 
pui-poses in favour of the poor of Thetford, his native town. 

Roos Hall was sold by Sir Charles Rich, and Mary Frances Rich, his wife, in 1805, 
to Thomas Rede, Esq., of Beccles, for 12,160, including the timber; whose son, 
Robert Rede, Esq., afterwards of Ashmans, succeeded, and dying without issue in 1822, 
left the manor of Roos Hall, after the decease of his widow, who survived him only two 
months, to his nephew, the Rev. Robert Rede Cooper, a younger son of the Rev. 
Samuel Lovick Cooper, of Yarmouth, by his wife, Sarah Lenian Rede, daughter 
of Thomas Rede aforesaid, the purchaser of this estate. This gentleman assumed the 
surname of Rede by Royal license, upon his uncle's decease, and is the present owner 
of Roos Hall. 

The family of Rede has been settled at Beccles for several centimes, but seems 
to have emigrated from Norwich. Blomefield, the historian of Norfolk, says, " the first 
of this family from whom any regular account can be deduced, was John Rede, Sheriff 
of Norwich in 1488, and Mayor in 1496 ; he was buried at Beccles." The Heraldic 
Visitations for Suffolk, and the manuscripts in the British Museum, all confirm this 
statement of Blomefield. 



John Rede, 

Mayor of Norwich, 

1496 : buried at Bec- 

cles, 1502. 

^= Joan Ludlow. 





Rede, = Maud Toolv, 

Edward Rede, = 

Izod 4 d". 

Sir Peter Rede, 

Thomas Rede, 


of Catton. 

4 times Mavor 


of Bavaria, 

Rector of 

of Norwich. 

twice married. 


Margaret, A', of 
Nicholas Quintz, 
1. wife. obt. S. P. 

= Thomas Rede, = 
of Beccles, obt. 

= Eleanor, d r . of 
John Golding- 
ham, 2. wife. 

William Rede, of 
London, obt. 1552, 
1. husband. 

Ann Fearnly, 
of Greeting. 

Sir Tho'. 


2. husband. 

Frances George Rede, 
Rede, ux. of Thorington. 
W'. Drake. 

Anne, d r . of John Rede, 
Sir Ant. Lee. M. P. for Guild- 
ford, obt. 1605, 
eldest son. 

Ursula Alice, Sir William Rede, 
Cooke. nx. Roger of Beccles. 

Thomas Rede, 
of Weston. 

Anne, d r . of 
Sir Tho. Gawdv. 






Henrv Rede = 


Edward Rede. 

Thomas Kede, 
obt. 1714. 

Thomas Rede, = 
obt. 1723. 

= Elizabeth, d r . of Elizabeth Ellen 
T. D. Edgar, Rede. Rede. 

of Glemham. 

Abigail, d r . of 
Tho". Edgar, of Glemham. 

Ann Fair. 

Thomas Rede, === Martha, d r . of 
obt. 1766. 1 John Elmy, of Beccles. 

Tbeophila, d r . = Tho 
& coh". of W m . of 
l.eman, l.wife. ot 

mas Rede, = Elizabeth, d r . of = 
Beccles, Rob'. Wilson, of 
t. 1811. Didlington, 
2. wife. 

1 I 
Rachel, widow Anne Rede, Martha Rede, 
of John Donaldson, ux. Col. ux. M r . Carter. 
3. wife. Anderson. 

1 I 
Thomas Lemn Thomas Wi 
Rede. Rede. 

lliam = Ann Mills, Henry Rob'. Rede, = Charlotte, d r . Elizabeth Sarah Leman 
of Beccles. Rede, of Ashmans, of Sir W. Rede, ux. Rede, ux. 
obt. 1822. Anderson. Rich d . Turner. S. L. Cooper, 
elk. | 

Robert Rede. 

1 1 
Bransby Rob'. Rede Cooper, = 
Blake Cooper, took the name of 
Rede, 1822. 

1 III 
= Louisa, d'. & Henry C. Sir Astley Thos. 4 
coh 1 . of Beuj. Hen- Cooper, Paston Lorick dr 1 . 
shaw, of Moor oht. S. P. Cooper, Cooper, 
Hall, Essex. 181". B'. elk. 

1 | 
Louisa Charlotte, Annie Marianne Sarah 
ui. Frank Fowke, Cooper. Bransby. 
Roy. Eng'. 

Madeline Nannton 


In the above pedigree Sir Peter Rede, Knight, of Bavaria, is entered as the son 
of John Rede, Mayor of Norwich, on the authority of Blomefield ; but I rather take him 
to be the son of Edward Rede by Izod, daughter and heiress of Sir Humphrey Stanley. 
If so, he married Joan, daughter of Anthony Cooke, of Quarendon in Bucks, and 
left an only daugher, Isabella, who died unmarried. Dame Anne Gresham left a son, 
Sir William Rede, by her first husband, who married Gertrude, daughter of Erasmus 
Paston, Esq., whose son and heir, Sir Thomas Rede, Knight, married Mildreda, second 
daughter of Thomas Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, and died without issue. There was also a 
Sir Robert Rede, Knight, Chief Justice of the King's Bench in the reign of Henry VII. 
He was probably brother to John Rede, Mayor of Norwich, who died in 1502, but 
his -name is not recorded in the Heraldic Visitations. 


From Dr. Tanner's papers it appears that a school was supported in Beccles by the 
Monastery of Bury, and that the Chamberlain of that establishment had the appoint- 
ment to the mastership. By a deed, dated at Bury, on the first day of June, 1395, 
William Bray, Camerarius, in virtue of his office, derived from ancient custom, appoints 
Reginald Leeke to the mastership of Beccles School, on the condition that he exercises 
the duties thereof in person, and does not depute them to an assistant. 

This school failed altogether on the dissolution of Bury Abbey, in the sixteenth 
century. But in 1631, Sir John Leman, Knight, devised by will, his messuage and 
garden, situated in Bally-gate Street in Beccles, with about thirty acres of land in 
Barsham, and other lands in St. Andrew Ilketshall, Ringsfield, Gillingham, and 
Geldeston, for the foundation and support of a free school. He wills that forty-eight 
boys shall be taught English reading, writing, and arithmetic : whereof forty-four shall 
be inhabitants of the town of Beccles, two of Gillingham, and two of Ringsfield. The 
whole of the property produces nearly 200 per annum. A license of mortmain was 
procured by Sir John's executors, and is preserved among the records of the corporation. 
The school-house is a substantial and commodious building, well adapted to the purpose 
for which it was erected, and stands on the left hand of the entrance of the town from 

Henry Fauconberg, LL.D., by his will, dated May 3rd, 1712, bequeathed all his 
real estates in Gorton and the villages adjoining, subject to certain life annuities, upon 
trust; and devised the rents and profits thereof, after reparations deducted, to make 
a provision for ever for the encouragement of learning, and the instruction of youth 
in Beccles : and he desired that whenever a person should be nominated to teach 
in Beccles " he being well learnt and experienced in the Latin and Greek tongues, so 


as to capacitate youth fitting for the university," such person to have the rents and 
profits of the said premises after repairs, &c., deducted, during his teaching in Beccles, 
and so from time to time for ever. The estates, conveyed and settled pursuant to the 
testator's will, consist of a house, outbuildings, and 77 acres, 2 roods, and 14 perches of 
land in Gorton ; and a cottage and 55 acres^ 1 rood, and 16 perches of land in Gorton 
and Flixton. Dr. Fauconberg desires the trustees to receive the rents; who, after 
making the necessary deductions, are to pay the residue to the master, who is to 
be elected, from time to time, by the Bishop of the Diocese, the Archdeacon of Suffolk, 
and the Rector of Beccles. 

Dr. Fauconberg died on the 29th of October, 1713, aged 78 years; and is buried 
beneath a handsome altar-tornb of marble, near the chancel door of Beccles church. 
He was Chancellor of St. David's, Registrar of the Faculty Office, and Commissary and 
Official of the Archdeaconry of Suffolk. He resided many years at Beccles. By his 
arms, cut on his tomb, he challenges descent from Walter de Fauconberg, summoned to 
Parliament as Baron Fauconberg in 1295 : a bordure engrailed being added to the coat 
of that ancient line. 

The minor charities in this town are, 2. 12s., left by Ward, to be distributed 
annually in bread ; and 3 per annum, left by Robert Girling in 1672, for apprenticing 
poor boys belonging to Beccles to some business. 

Beccles is well built, and stands amidst very pleasant environs. The Rev. George 
Crabbe, the eldest son and biographer of the poet, calls it " the gem of the Waveney." 
It has a very handsome assembly-room, and a spacious corn-hall, converted to that use 
from a theatre, and thrown open on Saturday, January 4, 1845. 

The public library contains about 2500 volumes, including some ancient works, 
formerly kept in the apartment over the church porch. Among these are Polyglot 
Bibles of 1656, (a large paper copy ;) and 1655-7, six volumes folio, by Brian Walton ; 
the edition which in solid usefulness is superior to every other. 

There is, also, in two volumes folio, the Lexicon Heptaglotton of Dr. Castell, 1669 ; 
a work of profound erudition, upon which the author laboured for seventeen years. 
Five hundred copies of this work brought but 7, though a single copy has since 
fetched forty or fifty guineas. In 1839, an exhibition, consisting of 182 paintings in 
oil and enamel, with specimens of geology, medals, prints, and miscellaneous articles, 
amounting altogether to 654, was opened to the public for the extension of the funds of 
this institution. The various articles having been entrusted to the committee on loan, 
by their respective proprietors, much responsibility devolved on the gentlemen forming 
this department ; but, fortunately, every specimen was returned to its owner uninjured. 
Many of the subjects exhibited were of rare merit. In the winter of 1842 and 1843, 
the library was further augmented by the proceeds of a series of Lectures on Geology, 


Botany, Light, the Human Eye, Architecture, Literature, Painting, Ruined Cities, and 
Zoology, delivered by the gentlemen of the town and its vicinity. 

The most important event in the modern history of Beccles was the rendering the 
river Waveney navigable for sea-borne vessels from the mouth of Oulton Dike to 
Beccles bridge ; for which purpose an Act of Parliament was procured ; and the Royal 
Assent obtained on the 22nd of April, 1831. A second Act, to amend the powers and 
provisions of the previous Act, received the sanction of the Crown on the 10th of May, 
1844 ; the object of which was to lower and equalize the former heavy port-dues. 
Shipping of a small description are now enabled to discharge and receive their cargoes 
at commodious wharfs near the town. 

A very considerable trade in malt, corn, coals, and shop-goods, is also carried on 
in small craft or wherries, of most admirable construction, averaging about twenty tons, 
which convey their cargoes to and from the shipping at Yarmouth. 

The present Town-clerk, and Steward of the Manors of Beccles and Roos Hall, is 
Edward Colby Sharpin, Esq., the compiler of a small volume entitled ' Death Scenes,' 
printed for private circulation- only, to which he has affixed a short but singularly 
modest and well-written preface. This gentleman is of Norfolk descent, being the son 
of the Rev. Edward Sharpin, of Swaffham, but the family is of German extraction, 
being probably derived from the Scharfens or Scharpfens. If this descent can be made 
good, Mr. Sharpin is entitled to these arms. 

Joseph Arnold, M.D. and F.S.A., whose monument has been mentioned in Beccles 
Church, the author of several detached subjects in the Philosophical and Physical Journals, 
and a very distinguished naturalist, was a native of Beccles. He died in the cause of 
science at Padang, in the island of Sumatra, July 26th, 1818, in the 35th year of 
his age. 

In 1224, Alan de Beccles was the fourth Archdeacon of Sudbury, and the eighth 
Chancellor of Norwich. He was, probably, a native of Beccles. He died in 1243, 
leaving behind him the character of a learned, wise, and upright man. 47 

47 Matthew Paris. 

VOL. I. E 


Odo de Beccles was Bailiff of Norwich in 1246. He was prosecuted and fined for 
encroaching on the King's ditch, belonging to his castle of Norwich. 48 

In 1466, John Beccles and John Roos were Sheriffs of Norwich. 

The descendants of Timothy Buck, Master of the Science of Defence, whose 
successful encounter with the athletic James Miller forms the subject of the Paper in 
the Spectator, No. 436, are inhabitants of Beccles. 

In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1804, p. 305, are notices and an engraving of 
a curious silicious stone found in a gravel-pit upon Beccles race-course ; the surface 
of which is covered with noduli, much resembling the seeds of the Malva communis : 
part of a cornu ammonis, and two specimens of Button stone, were found in the same 

The population of Beccles amounted in 

1789 to 2565 

1796 2440 

1801 2788 

1811 2979 

1821 3493 

1831 3862 

1841 4086 

In or about the year 1804, the corporation sold to Robert Sparrow, Esq., 54 acres 
of land, called Hills and Doles, part of Beccles Fen, for the sum of 3000 (which 
money was applied by the corporation towards defraying the expense of paving the town 
of Beccles) ; but being desirous of purchasing other lands, in lieu of, and equal in value 
to those which were sold, an annual sum of 400 was ordered to be invested in the 
funds, in the names of Trustees, to accumulate for that purpose. 

A sinking fund was accordingly established, and continued until the year 1824, 
when, in consequence of a very great advance in the price of Government funds, 
the Trustees were ordered to sell out all the stock composing the sinking fund, and pay 
the proceeds to the Portreeve, who was directed to apply the same in discharge of 
certain bond and other debts, due from the corporation, which were principally 
contracted for paving the town, and in aid of the poor's-rates, and amounted to about 
3000. The old fund was in consequence broken up, and appropriated to the 
discharge of those debts. 

But the corporation, deeming it wise and expedient to continue a sinking fund 
until they should be enabled by purchases to possess themselves of land equal in 
quantity and quality to that which they sold to Mr. Sparrow, ordered (8th April, 1824,) 

48 Blomefield's Norfolk. 


AH,' TV 




London, John Weale, 184-5 


that the sum of 100 shall be yearly laid out in the 3 per cent, consols, or other 
Government security ; and that the same, with the interest and income thereof, shall 
acciunulate, and be applied as a sinking fund, until such time as the object of the 
corporation in re-purchasing land, be fully and completely effected. 

The first sum of 100 was accordingly laid out in the 3 per cents, on the 
8th April, 1824, in the names of Mr. Crowfoot, Mr. Fiske, Mr. Sharpin, and Mr. 
F. W. Farr, the Trustees appointed for that purpose, who signed a deed declaratory 
of their trust, 13th April, 1825. 

This " first sum of 100 " has been augmented by the accumulation of its interest 
only. The Fen estate has been reduced by the above, and previous sales, to about 
950 acres of land. 

BARSHAM signifies the residence of Bar. Siwartl Bar is mentioned in Domesday Book 
as holding East Beckham in Norfolk of the Conqueror ; and Sier Bar had the lordship 
of Sheringham, in the same county. 

In the reign of Edward the Confessor, Lcustann, the priest, held Barsham under 
Gui'th, the brother of Harold ; but at the time of the Norman survey, the manor 
and advowson were the property of Robert de Vallibus, or Vaux, who held them of 
Roger Bigot, as capital lord. 

The manor is described as one leuca and a half in length, but only half a one 
in breadth. As a wide tract of meadows was at that period covered with water, 
and consequently not included in the survey, this mensuration accords with the present 
extent of the upland portion of the manor ; taking the leuca at a mile and a half. 
It appears to have been a flourishing village ; its value had doubled since the time 
of Edward the Confessor : it had a mill, a well-endowed church, and paid 30*. gelt, 
while Beccles was rated at only sixteen. 1 

The family of Vaux was long enfeoffed of this lordship, and held a large estate in 
the neighbourhood; for in 1235, Henry de Vallibus had free-warren in his manors of 
Barsham, Ringsfield, and Ilketshall. 2 

Domesday Book. 2 Carta, 48 Hen. III. 


Soon after this period the lordship of Barsham passed to a family that assumed its 
surname from the village. In 1274, when Beccles was returned to the Crown as 
belonging to the Abbot of Bury, Radulphus, the son of Robert de Barsham, was one of 
the jury empanneled. 3 This family appears to have obtained some degree of eminence, 
for the arms of Sir William de Barsham were placed, among others, in the great east 
window of the chancel belonging to the conventual church of the Austin Friars 
in Norwich. About this period Oliver de Tintamet possessed a small estate in this 
parish, for which he rendered homage. 4 

In 1321, Robert de Barsham, and Robert his son, presented to the church, and 
were the last of their family who held any interests here. 

In 1342, Laurence Mounk presented, but if he were lord, his tenure must have 
been brief; for in 1348, we find Sir Peter atte Tye, or Sir Peter at the Eye, or island, 
lord and patron. He married Dionesia, widow of Sir Edward Charles, of Kettleburgh. 
lie does not appear to have resided at Barsham, though his widow, who survived him, 
presented to the church in 1373. She held this patronage with the manor for life, 
of which she was enfeoffed by her husband; except the meadows called the Park 
at Barsham, which he " bequeathed to Robert Charles, as it was ordained by feoffees. 
The manor afterwards to go to his sons to be born ; his wife being then with child ; 
and if there were no son, to go to his eldest daughter." This lady, by her will, dated 
in 1375, desires her body to be buried before the church door of the Holy Trinity in 
Barsham, and bequeaths to her son Edward Charles, 100 s . per annum, out of her manor 
of Kessingland. To Sir Robert atte Tye, her eldest son, by her second marriage, who 
succeeded her in the manor of Barsham, she devises the lordship of Hoo in Monewden ; 
in order to purchase the patronage of some church of the value of 20 per annum to 
appropriate to the cathedral church of Norwich, for the purpose of finding two secular 
priests to sing Mass for the souls of John de Hoo, her father, and Dionesia his wife ; 
William their son, and all the faithful. She died in 1375, or the following year. 

Sir Robert atte Tye, son of Sir Peter and this Lady Dionesia, made his will in 
the sixth of Richard II., 1382. He therein desires his executors to enfeoff Elizabeth 
his wife, with the lordship of Barsham, and all his lands in the Hundred of Wangford, 
and in Kessingland, together with the advowson of the latter parish, for life. This 
knight was the last of the Tyes who held the manor of Barsham, but his successors 
possessed the lordship of Kettleburgh Hall, in the Hundred of Loes, for several 
generations. He was buried in Barsham church, as appears from the will of Elizabeth 
his widow, proved in 1385, wherein she desires her body to be buried there by the side 
of her late husband. 

3 Rot. Hund. Testa, de Nevill, p. 283. 



In 1396, Robert Ashfield presented to the rectory of Barsham, from whom the 
manor and advowson passed to the family of Echingham. Thomas de Echingham was 
lord in 1424, and with his descendants this property continued till 1523, the fifteenth 
of Henry VIII., when John Blennerhasset, Esq., married Mary, the youngest daughter 
of Sir Edward Echingham, the last of that ancient and knightly race ; and thus became 
possessed of this estate, as the following pedigree will show. 

Ralph Blennerhasset, = Jane, <l r . and 
of Frenze, C. Norfolk. Sir John Lov 

neir'. of 

Jane, d r . of Sir Tho ! . = John Blennerhasset, = Jane, d'. of Sir Thomas 
Higham, of Higham of Frenze. Tindal, 2nd wife. 

Jane, d'. of = 
.... Sutton. 

I | 
Sir Thomas = Margaret, d'. of Robert. Marg 
Blennerhasset. John Braham. Priort 


ss of Brampton. 

.... heiress = George = Mary Eliz th . d r . of Sir John = Jo 
of Covert, of Blenner- Jerning- Cornwallis, 1. wife. n 
Sussex. hasset. ham. 

m Blen- =^ Mary, d r . & coh". of Sir 
irhasset. Edw d . Echingham, of 
Barsham Hall, 2. wife. 

Eliz th . Blennerhasset, 
ux. Lionel Throg- E 
morton, of Bungay. 

III 1 
lien. Catharine. Margaret. Frances. Thomas Blen- 
1234 nerhasset, of 
Barsham, obt. 
S.P. 1599. 

Ill 1 
Edward. John. George. Ralph. 

In the ninth of Henry VII., John Blennerhasset, Esq., held Bovelands of the King, 
one half lying in Norfolk, and the other half in the county of Suffolk; and in the 
twenty-fifth of Henry VIII. , George, son and heir of Thomas Blennerhasset, held 
the same lands. 5 Anno twenty-third of Elizabeth, Thomas Blennerhasset held the 
manor of Barsham. 

On the 17th of July, 1G13, Sir John Suckling, Knight, third son of Robert 
Suckling, of Woodton, Esq., purchased the manor and advowson of Barsham. Sir 
John, at that time, resided at Roos Hall ; and it appears from family papers that 
the newly acquired property was valued at 240 per annum. Sir John says, in a letter 
to his brother, Charles Suckling, of Woodton, dated July 23rd, 1613, " I ame nowe 
gone thorough for Barshame, and have had a fine and recoverie acknowledged to 
my use, before my Lord Hubbard, and tomorrowe the indentures and all other as- 
surances are to be sealed. For the lettinge of it, I am resolute not to lett the house and 
demeanes thereof under 240, and I hope that by your care and diligence in providinge 
me a good tenant, I may have 250 p. ann. I ame confident that ere longe landes will 

5 Harl. MSS. codex 370. 


beare a better and a higher prise ; and therefore my purpose is, not to grant any lease 
above seaven yeares : beside I meane to keepe all the royalties and the fishinge in myne 
own handes ; and upon these tearmes if you can find me out an honest man that will hire 
it, I will thinke myself behouldeinge unto you. It is a thinge that lyes more convenient 
forr me, by reason of the vicinitye of Rosehall, then it doth for you, or any els, but had 
I broken of for it, I had rather you had it than any els. It is nowe myne, and I trust 
that the name of the Sucklings shall inheritt and possess it, when I am dead and 

It appears by " a p'ticulir of the Manor of Barsham Hall," drawn out at the time of 
this transfer, that while the whole estate produced but 240 per annum, " the fishing, 
swannes and swanne game, fowling and other royalties," were valued at 10* a year. 
How highly, therefore, these privileges were estimated which every man now seems to 
look upon as his own right will be further apparent by contrasting this valuation with 
the income of the rectory of the parish at the same period, which, in the p~ticulir referred 
to, is set at 120 per annum. 

Sir John Suckling was Secretary of State, Comptroller of the Household, and Privy 
Counsellor to King James I. and his unfortunate successor, and Member of Parliament 
for Uumvich. He was also an aspirant to still higher preferment, for in the ' Sidney 
State Papers ' is a letter written by Lord Leicester to his son, in September. 1621, 
wherein he says, "It is not known who shall be Chancellor of the Exchequer, now my 
Lord Brooke doth give it over : it is between Sir Richard Weston and Sir John Suckling." 
The appointment was obtained by Sir Richard Weston. He married Martha Cranfield, 
sister to Lionel, Earl of Middlesex, by whom he had Sir John Suckling, the poet, Lionel 
Suckling, and four daughters. 6 Sir John charged the manor of Barsham Hall with 18 
per annum for ever, to be expended in the reparation of the monument of himself and 
his first wife, placed in St. Andrew's church at Norwich, and for annual sermons to be 
preached in that city. 

On his decease, in 1627, this property descended to his eldest son, Sir John Suckling, 

'' Three of these daughters are huried in Pangbourne church, Berks, beneath a monument thus in- 
scribed. "Within a vault, under the marble stones hereunto adjoining, resteth the bodyes of three sisters ; 
Martha, Ann, and Mary; the daughters of the Right Honourable Sir John Suckling, of Whitton, in the 
county of Middlesex, Knight who died Controuler of the Householde, and one of the most honourable 
Prive-Councell unto King Charles the first. Martha was first marryed unto Sir George Sowthcott, of Shil- 
lingford, in the county of Devon, Knight ; and dyed the wife of William Clagett, of Isleworth, in the county 
of Middlesex, Esquire. She dyed at the Bathe, the 29th of June, 1661. Anne was marryed unto Sir 
John Davis, sonne of Sir John Davis, both lords of this mannor, and dyed the 24th of July, 1 659. Mary 
Sucklinge dyed a virgine, the 17th of October, 16.')8." Elizabeth, the youngest daughter, died at an early 
age, unmarried. 

.", % (0) 58C .w & trr cc 7s 

T tt i: it O E T, 

X/ X 7 

-J, Ay Ju/ai, 


the poet, whose gay and easy ballads are familiar to every lover of poetry, and have out- 
lived the memory of his political abilities. Sir John died at Paris in 1641, in the 
thirty-fourth year of his age, having fled the kingdom to escape the penalties of a 
charge of high treason preferred against him by the popular party; and which the 
power of the Crown was too feeble to avert. His works have passed through seven 
editions, the last of which was printed in 1836. Though Suckling is best known in the 
annals of literature as a poet, his prose writings are calculated to raise a yet higher 
opinion of his talents. His ' Letters to several Eminent Persons ' abound in wit and 
spirit ; though marred, it must be allowed, by a dash of gallantry, more free than modern 
refinement will admit : the fault of the time in which he lived, not of the individual. 
His ' Account of Religion by Reason,' and his ' Letter to Mr. Jermyn,' afterwards Earl 
of St. Alban's, on the dispute between the Court and the nation, are unrivalled by the. 
compositions of that age, for soundness of argument, depth of observation, and purity of 
expression. These afford a presumption that he was no stranger to those reflections 
which elevate the human character ; and that if his life had been prolonged, it would 
have been devoted to pursuits most useful to the State, and honourable to himself. 

Sir John sold this property to his uncle, Charles Suckling, of Woodton, probably for 
the purpose of raising his regiment of horse for the King's service ; for in 1640, the year 
succeeding the battle of Dunse, Charles Suckling appears as lord, with whose descend- 
ants the manor and advowson remain. 

The family of Suckling claims a Saxon origin. Suckling, or, as the name was 
anciently written, Socling, signifies in the Saxon language, a person holding his estate by 
socage, or the tenure of the plough. 

In 1274, Robert Suckling is returned in the Hundred Rolls as holding a small 
estate ; and Walter Suckling, of Sapiston, in Suffolk, is also mentioned, from whom 
Richard de Ayswell, and John de Boxford, incumbent of that parish, had unjustly 
extorted seven shillings : a considerable sum at that period. 7 There are other incidental 
notices of this family in the public records, but no regular or authentic chain of descent 
can be deduced from them before the year 1348, when Thomas Esthawe, the Socling, 
was admitted to certain copyholds held of the manors of Langhall and Woodton, in 

7 " Robtus Suckling tenet unu mesuag : &c. Ita dicut q d Ricits de Ayswell, Joes de Boxford, cler : 
ej : Walterus de Culing extorseriit de Walto Sucling de Sapiston injust : vij s p. pot." Rot. Hund. 



Thomas Socling, of Woodton and Langhall, admitted to certain estates in 1348 

John Socling held the 
same lands, 1353. 

Philip Suckling, his 
grandson, obt. 1430. 

Stephen Suckling, of 
Woodton, an. 1470. 

Johanna, living in 1449, possessed houses in 
Bally-gate Street, Beccles, held of the Abbot 
of Bury, by a quit-rent of 4d. 

John Suckling lived in 
Estgate-field, in Woodton. 

John Suckling, of Woodton, 

trustee of the Town estates, 

obt. 1515, eldest son. 

Alice, held Bigot's wood, 

and 140 acres of land in 

Woodton, in dower. 

Robert Suckling, a 

merchant at Norwich, 

obt. 153Q. 

Richard Suckling, obt. 1551. Jane Swaney, of Yorkshire. 

John Suckling. 

Nicholas Suckling. = Amy. 

Elizabeth Banvick, = 
1. wife. 

- Robert Suckling, = 
M.P.for Norwich, 1 
obt. 1589- 1 

Joanna, d r . of Will. Cardinall, 
of Bromley, Essex, 2. wife. 


1 I I I 
Joanna, Elton, ui. Agnes Fanne Suckling, 

ui. . . . Tho. Rochester. Suckling, uz. . . . Marks, 
Ling. ofBarford. 

Charles Suckling, 
of Woodton and 

Mary, d r . and 
heir 1 , of Steph". 
Drury, of 
Aylsham . 

1 1 1 
Thomas, and 
at one birth. 

Edmund Suckling, - 
D.D., Dean of 


i Anice. Robert, of 

Sir John Suckling, the 
purchaser of Barsham Hall, 
obt. 1627. 



Lucy Suckling, . . . Suckling, 
ui. T. Marsham, in. Prebendary 
of Stratton Straw less. Spendlove. 

1 . I 
Sir John Suckling, Lionel 
the poet, M.P. for Sucklin) 
Bramher, obt. S.P. obt. S.F 



f, drs. 

Anne Wodehouse, 
of Kimberley, 
1 . wife. 

Robert Suckling 
High Sheriff 
for Norfolk, 

... d'. of 
Sir W. 
2. wife. 


Robert Suckling, of Woodton Sarah Shelton, 
and Barsham, High Sheriff of Shelton. 

for Norfolk, 1701, obt. 1708. 

Robert Suckling, Dorothy 
obt. 1734. Berney. 

Lucy Suckling, 
ui. Tho". Stone, 
of Bedingham. 

Maurice Suckling, D.D., Anna, d'. of 

Preb. of Westminster Abbey, Sir Cha". Turner, 

and Rector of Barsham. of Warham. 

Denzil Hannah Tubby, Mary Suckling, Rob*. Richard Anne 
Suckling, niece to Arch- ux. Hog. Howman, obt. S.P. Suckling. Kibert. 

obt. 1744. bishop Tennison. M.D., of Norwich. 

Maurice Suckling, 

Capt. R.N., 
M.P. for Portsmouth. 

Catharine Suckling, William 
ux. Edmund Nelson. Suckling. 

Robert Suckling, 
died S.P. 

Robert Suckling, Cornet = Susanna Webb, 

1 Dragoon Guards, and 

Capt. West Norf. Militia, 

obt. 1812. 

representative of 
Inigo Jones. 


Horatio Viscount Nelson. 

Mary Ann, 
obt. inf. 


Robert George 
Suckling, Cant. 

Roy. Artul., killed 
at Guadaloupe, 

obt. S.P. eld. son. 

Anna Maria Sucklin 
ui. Alexander Foi. 

Alfred Inigo Foi, Lucy Clementina, 

took surname of Suckling dr. of S. Clarke. 

by Royal Lie. 1820. 

Catharine Maurice = Caroline 

Framlingham, William, Ramell, 

1. wife. R.N., 2. wife. 

obt. S.P. 



ox. W. 



Robert Cheesman, and other children. 


Emily John Thomas, 
Susanna, Rector of 
ux. Nic*. Shipmeadow. 


Mary Anne 


ux. . . . Spencer. 

obt. S.P. 

Robert Anna Maria, 
Alfred. | d'. of John 
Yelloly, M.D. 












Anna Maria 

Robert Alfred 
John Suckling. 

Mary Sarah. 

Thomas Suckling. 


The first crest of this family was a Stag courant azure, attired and unguled, or. 
The colour of the animal was afterwards changed to gules ; and it is so borne on several 
of the family monuments; but Queen Elizabeth, when on her 'Progresses' through 
Norfolk, granted unto Robert Suckling, and his heirs, for a crest, a Stag courant, or : 
and taking into consideration the good and loyal services of the said Robert Suckling, 
as well then displayed, as at all times heretofore, gives him, as an augmentation to his 
said crest, a sprig of Honey-suckle proper, to be borne in the Stag's mouth. 


There was a church in Barsham, at the time of the Domesday Survey, to which 
belonged twenty acres of glebe, valued at 3s. The patronage was appended to the 
manor at the above period, and has never been disunited. 

The church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and comprises a nave and chancel of 
the same width : the latter is covered with red tiles, but the former, which is somewhat 
loftier than the chancel, is thatched with reeds, and there is a south porch covered with 
lead. A small north aisle or chapel was taken down about sixty years since, the removal 
of which has materially injured the stability of the fabric. At the west end of the nave 
stands a round tower, in which hangs a small solitary bell, though there were three at 
no very distant period. 

The edifice is probably raised upon the site of that mentioned in the Domesday 
Book, but has no claims to Norman antiquity. The oldest feature discernible in it is a 
lancet window in the south wall of the chancel, near its junction with the nave, at the 
lower part of which is a lyclmoscope, now plastered over, though the original and massive 
hinges are visible. The other windows, except that at the east end, are in the style 
which marks the reign of Edward II., and contain each a single shaft, with here and 
there a fragment of ancient painted glass. A screen of oak divides the body of the 
church from the chancel, which must have been erected about the time of James I., if 
we may judge of its age by the fashion of its design a bold step at a period so shortly 
subsequent to the Reformation, and one which must have subjected the Rector to the 
charge of abetting popery. This incumbent was Joseph Fleming, who held the rectory 
from 1617 to 1636, and who, as appears by his arms, carved on a corbel, raised the 
present substantial but inelegant roof of the chancel in 1633. To him, also, I attribute 
the construction of the eastern window the most remarkable feature in the edifice. 
This is formed by stone ribs or mullions, which cross each other diagonally; producing a 
series of lozenge-shaped lights. On the exterior face of the wall, the diagonal ribs are 
extended throughout ; the interstices, beyond the limits of the glass, being filled with 
squared flints. The effect is very singular, and in design has, most probably, no parallel. 

VOL. I. F 



The font, which is coeval with the church, stands in an open space at the west end of 
the nave. 

The Font at Barsham Church. 

On the floor of the chancel lies the brass effigy of a warrior, in the military costume 
of the latter part of the fourteenth century. There are no armorial bearings attached to 
this monument, and the circumscription is lost, but it must, without doubt, have been 
placed to the memory of Sir Robert Atte Tye, who was buried here, soon after the year 
1380; and whose widow, by will, proved in 1385, desires to be buried in Barsham 
church, by the side of her late husband. The costume strictly agrees with this appro- 
priation. The present parish clerk, a very aged man, relates a tradition connected with 
this monument. He says, when this warrior died, four dozens of wine were drank, 
according to his last directions, over his grave, before the coffin was covered with earth. 
Strange as such a relation may sound to our ears, it is, in all probability, true. For in 
the will of James Cooke, of Sporle, in Norfolk, made in 1506, it is ordered, " I will that 
myn executors, as sone as it may come to ther knouleg that I am dede, that they make 
a drynkyng for my soul to the value of vi*, \iii d , in the church of Sporle." The drynkyng 
was accordingly held in the middle aisle. 

An altar-tomb of richly moulded brick stands against the north wall of the chancel. 
It bears no inscription, but most likely covers the remains of Thomas Blennerhasset, Esq., 
who was buried in May, 1599. 

There are likewise several floor-stones commemorative of former Rectors, and one 


which especially attracts attention by the variously coloured marbles of which it is com- 
posed. It is placed to the memory of the Rev. Thomas Missenden, who died in 1774, 
after an incumbency of thirty years. 

l)r. Maurice Suckling, Prebendary of Westminster Abbey, and Rector of Barsham, 
was buried here in 1730. 

Benjamin Solley, Rector, died Dec. 6, 1714. 

Horace Suckling, Clerk, Rector, died April 12, 1828, act. 57. 

There are also monuments to the following persons : 

Horace Suckling, youngest son of Robert Suckling, of Woodton, Esq., died August 

William Suckling, Esq., died Dec. 15, 1798, aged 68. 

Elizabeth Flavell, eldest daughter of the Rev. Horace Suckling, died July 30, 1833. 

Samuel Lillistone, Esq., of Beccles, died June 26; 1829, aged 72. 

Eliza Lane, died June 10, 1831. 

John Eachard, three times Bailiff of Great Yarmouth, died June 24, 1657. His wife 
died in the same year. 

The Lady Dionesia Atte Tye was buried in the church porch, according to the direc- 
tions given in her will, in 1375, where a very ancient gravestone, robbed of its brass 
effigy and armorial bearings, covers her remains. 

The register books of Barsham commence in 1558, and down to 1615 were kept in 
English, and are badly written. After this period another hand occurs, by which the 
entries are very neatly made, and in Latin. There are a few breaks in the succeeding 
books, which seem to have been much neglected. In "1559, Thomas, son of Edwarde 
Tye, was baptized, on the 22nd of Marche." In all probability this was a descendant 
of the ancient race, formerly Lords of Barsham. 

" Anno Dni 1584. The olde ladie Itchingham was buried the 30th of Julie." The 
age of this lady is not recorded, but it must have been very advanced, as her youngest 
daughter, Mary, married John Blennerhasset, Esq., in 1523 ; and supposing her to have 
been only forty years old when her youngest daughter was married, she must even so 
have reached her hundred and first year : but the probability is she was ten or fifteen 
years older. She was, therefore, with justice called the " olde ladie " Echingharn. A 
good proof this of the salubrity of Barsham Hall, notwithstanding the lowness of 
its site. 

The tithes of the parish have been commuted for 463, and the glebes set at the 
same time at 160 per annum. These amount to rather more than eighty acres, the 
land tax on which is redeemed. The churchwarden holds a piece of land producing 
about 30s. per annum, given for the benefit of the poor, by a benefactor whose name is 
not recorded. 




John de Redenhale . 
William de Welyngton 
Alexander de Brusyard 
Thomas Ryvet 
John Bray 
Henry Barneby 
Thomas Wase 
James Cobald 
Thomas Bryghtyere . 
Radulphus Colyu 
Thomas Say 
William Parker 
Robert Watts . 
William Gele . 
William Wilbore 
Robert Hume . 
Christopher Batty . 
John Christian 
Richard Firbank 
Joseph Fleming 
George Cock . 
Benjamin Solley 
Maurice Suckling, D.D. 
Matthias Barberry . 
Robert Clipwell 
Thomas Missenden . 
Edward Holden 
Horace Suckling 
John Lillistone 
Alfred Suckling 


Date. Patrons. 

1321 Robert de Barsham. 

1342 Laurence Mounk. 

1348 Peter Atte Tye, Miles. 

1373 Dna Dionesia Atte Tye. 

1380 Robert Atte Tye. 

1396 Robert Ashfield. 

1424 Thomas de Echingham. 

1450 Thomas de Echingham. 

1460 Richard Echingham. 

1488 John Echingham. 

1498 John Echingham. 

1502 John Echingham. 

1510 John Echingham. 

1514 John Echingham. 

1516 Edward Echingham, Miles. 

1533 Assignees of Sir Edward Echingham, defunct. 

1554 John Blennerhasset, Esq. 

1564 John Blennerhasset, Esq. 

1568 John Blennerhasset, Esq. 

1617 Sir John Suckling. 

1636 Sir John Suckling, Jun. 

1673 Robert Suckling, Esq. 

1/14 Robert Suckling, Esq. 

1 730 Robert Suckling, Esq. 

1735 Dorothy Suckling. 

1740 Denzil Suckling, Esq. 

1774 Executors of Denzil Suckling. 

1797 The Crown, on lunacy of Robert Suckling. 

1828 Alfred Suckling, Clerk. 

1839 Alfred Suckling, Clerk. 

Estimatio ecclesiee xxiij marc : Synodalia p : an : ii s . viij rf . Denarij Sancti Petri, xxij d . 

About thirty years since an ancient gold ring was discovered by a woman weeding 
on Barsham Hall farm, on which is engraved the standard-bearer of the tenth legion 
leaping into the sea, and exciting the Roman soldiers to land and attack the Britons. 
It weighs two pennyweights, two grains and a half, and is in the possession of the 

The Rectory House is an old but commodious mansion, erected about the time of 
James II., and stands near the church, amidst its own grounds, which contain many re- 


markably fine evergreens and forest trees, of considerable magnitude, which are very 
harmoniously grouped. 

Here, in an old-fashioned and low, but cheerful apartment, was born, on the 27th of 
May, 1725, Catharine Suckling, the mother of Nelson; and in the same chamber 
Maurice Suckling, her brother, first saw the light. He was the early patron and profes- 
sional tutor of the great Admiral, his nephew ; and when in command of the Drcadnom/lii 
of 60 guns, attended by the Aiigmta of the same class, and the Edinburgh, 64, fought an 
action off Cape Franois, in 1757, paralleled only by his nephew's own achievements. 
With these three ships, carrying only 184 guns, and 1232 seamen, he defeated a French 
squadron bearing 366 guns of much heavier metal, and worked by 3440 men. This 
action was fought on the 21st of October; and it is not a little singular that the great 
victory of Trafalgar was gained on the same day of the month ; and to this coincidence 
Nelson alluded at the commencement of that memorable engagement. 8 Capt. Suckling 
was returned to Parliament for Portsmouth, and made Comptroller of the Navy, and one 
of the elder Brethren of the Trinity House, soon after this brilliant exploit. He married 
Mary Walpole, niece of the first Earl of Orford, but died without issue, and was buried 
at Barsham, July 27, 1778, in the chancel, near his father. 

Laurence Echard, author of a ' General Ecclesiastical History,' which Dean Prideaux 
recommends as the best of its kind in the English tongue, was born at Barsham, in 1671 . 
His biographers state that his father was Minister of Barsham, which is incorrect. Echard 

8 Southey's Life of Nelson. 


was Prebendary of Lincoln, which he held with Rendlesham, and other preferment in 
Suffolk. His family were settled in this village for several generations, as many tomb- 
stones in the church-yard record. Echard bears Ennine, on a bend Sab : three chess- 
rooks arg. 

Barsham Hall, now converted into a farm-house, was formerly a spacious mansion 
containing many lofty and noble apartments. It was built by the Echinghams, but re- 
tains few of its original features, having been principally pulled down by the grandfather 
of the writer, who, however, well remembers its original state. From a ground plan, 
made before its demolition, it appears that the great hall was 44 ft. in length, by 28 in 
width, and rose to the entire height of the house. Through this was a staircase lighted 
by windows of stained glass. The court-room was 28 ft. by 18, and the chamber above 
24 by IS. Adjoining the hall was a withdrawing-room 32 ft. by 28 : all these apart- 
ments were 10 feet high. The house enclosed a quadrangle, whose exterior walls were 
1 4:2 feet, each way, and near the entrance, which was over the east side of the moat, stood 
a lofty tower, ascended by a spiral staircase. Some of the apartments, which are now 
converted to cow-houses and stables, retain wide and antique fire-places, and over a door, 
leading into one of them, are the arms of Blennerhasset, carved in stone, with the date 
of 1 .")h':j. Upon the transfer of the manor to Sir John Suckling, this house was valued 
at 4000, which appears a most enormous sum for that period. 

The meadows around the hall, which formed a park as early as the fourteenth cen- 
tury, are now divided into small enclosures, but stags' horns are occasionally found, when 
new ditches and drains are dug. 

The right of free-fishery and swannery in the river Wavency, belonging to this manor, 
extends from a certain part of the river, now known as Moll's locks, to Roos Hall fleet, 
and the Swanmark, as preserved on an old roll, bearing date 1498, and now in the 
writer's possession, is a diagonal cross on the left beak of the bird, with a blot on the 
upper part of the lower angle. 

The cellarer of Norwich Priory had three shillings rent ; and the Prioress of Bungay 
an estate of twelve acres of meadow, in Barsham. The parish contains 1871 acres of 
land, with a population, according to the last census, of 250 souls. 

The manor of Roos Hall with Ashmans extends over 328 acres of land in this parish. 
An elegant mansion called Ashmans, from its locality, was erected on this domain in the 
beginning of the present century, by the late Robert Rede, Esq. It stands on a rising 
ground, just within the limits of the parish, and commands pleasing views of Beccles, 
with its meandering river, and the adjacent country. Mr. Rede survived the completion 
of this residence but a short time, dying on the 13th of August, 1822, in his 59th year. 
He is buried, with his widow, who was the fifth daughter of Sir Charles Anderson, Bart., 
imder an altar-tomb in Barsham church-yard. 


NORTH COVE is a small village traversed by the high road from Beccles to Lowestoft, 
and containing, at the time of the census in 1841, 219 inhabitants. It is so called to 
distinguish it from South Cove, in Blything Hundred ; and these two parishes are 
designated in ancient deeds, as Cove Magna, and Cove Parva ; North Cove being Little 
Cove. The parish is not accounted for in Domesday Book under its present name, but 
is probably the " Hetheburgfeld " therein mentioned, which paid an annual tale of 
herrings, and formed part of the great possessions of Earl Hugh. 

There is no manor of Cove to the present day, the lordship being styled the manor 
of Wade's, or Wathe's Hall ; which appellation it obtained from Robert de Watheby, of 
Westmoreland, who was enfeoffed of this estate in the time of Henry II. This manor 
was held of the King by fealty, and -is. rent, paid to his Hundred of Wangford. 1 

Robert de W'atheby left a son, Thorpine de AVathcby, whose daughter and coheiress, 
Maud, marrying Hubert Eitz-Jernegan, carried this manor into that family. Sir Hubert 
was a knight of large estates, and gave a considerable sum of money to King Henry II., 
which he paid into the Exchequer in 1 182. He was witness to a deed in 1195, by which 
divers lands were granted to Byland Abbey, in Yorkshire. 2 In the third of King John, 
he paid 20 fine for three knights' fees and a half, which he held of the honour of 
Brittain. 3 The King granted the wardship of all his large possessions, and the marriage 
of his wife and children, to Robert de Veteri Ponte, or Vipount ; so that he married 
them without disparagement to their fortunes. 4 He died in 1203. 

Notwithstanding the manor was thus conveyed to the family of Jernegan, scions of 
the old stock still flourished in Cove, and held lands there for several generations. In 
1309, Matilda, the widow of Radulphus de Wathe Carpenter, grants to William her 
son, and his heirs, two pieces of arable land, of which one piece lies in " Campo de Cove," 
amidst the lands of Alan le Mey de Wathe ; and held of Alan de Wathe, her son. Her 
seal is attached to this deed, bearing her name, and a cross of eight points, patonce. 5 
This mention of the Campum de Cove, which also occurs in other deeds of this period, 
seems to have reference to the Heathburg-field of Domesday Book. 

There was a family possessed of considerable property in this parish before the year 
1300, who resided in South Cove, whence they assumed their surname, which they pro- 

1 Jermyn MSS. a Regist. Byland Abbey, fol. 102. 

8 Rot. Pip. p. 3. John, Rot. 16. 4 Blomefield. 5 Jermyn MSS. 


hably transferred to their lands here. In 1373, Master John de Cove, an advocate in 
the Norwich Consistory, was buried in St. Luke's chapel, in the cathedral of that city, 
by brother Nicholas de Brampton, late prior thereof. He gave a cup to the altar of 
St. Botolph, at North Cove, and legacies to Sir Surion, Rector of St. Mary in the Marsh ; 
to John dc Ely, Rector of Acle ; and Robert de Theberton, Rector of Alderford, in 
Norfolk. 6 

In the thirty-fifth of Edward III., a family, named Boresd, (soon after spelt Borhed,) 
held an estate in North Cove. In that year, Roger Boresd granted to John, Henry, and 
Alan, his brothers, and to Robert Boresd, a piece of land lying " in Campo de North- 
cove." In the third of Edward IV., Robert Borhed, clerk, son and heir of William 
Borhed, late of Westhall, and nephew and heir of Roger Borhed, late of Blythborough, 
granted to Robert Banyard, Esq., of Spexhall, and John his son ; to Richard Fulmer- 
ston, of Framlyngham ad Castram ; to William Fulborne ; John Hoo, of Blythborough ; 
and John Waley, of the same parish, a certain meadow in North Cove, which had 
descended to him, as heir-at-law of the aforesaid Roger Bohir, his uncle. He seals with 
Sab : a boar's head couped arg. 7 

The manor of Wathe Hall still continued with the Jernegans. In 1406 they had a 
charter of free-warren in this lordship. In 1465 John Jernegan was residing at Cove, 
and by his will, dated in 1473, and proved December 9, 1474, he desires his body to be 
buried by the side of his wife, in the chapel of St. Mary, in the priory of St. Olave's, at 
I Icrringfleet. He bequeaths the manor of " Little Wirlingham," which he had lately pur- 
chased of William Cove, to his son Osbert, for life ; and also his manor of Wattle, or 
Wathe Hall, in North Cove. On the 6th of January, 1515, Sir Edward Jernegan, his 
grandson, died seized, inter alia, of the manor of Wathe Hall. 

This lordship has since passed through the families of Yallop, Bence, and Sparrow, 
and is now the property of Archibald, Earl of Gosford. 

In a parish book, dated 1675, it is stated, that the Constables for North Cove ought 
to be chosen at the leet of Worlingham, the 1st day of October, yearly. 

The old manorial residence of the Jernegans, at Wathe Hall, is entirely demolished, 
but traces of its site remain, marked by an extensive moat, and an inner rampart of 
earth. The area is an oblong enclosure, measuring about sixty paces by fifty, close upon 
the edge of the marshes, and rendered highly picturesque by the presence of several ma- 
jestic oaks, which " wreath their old fantastic roots " amidst the foundations of the 
mansion. Bricks of that flat and peculiar form, which mark the workmanship of an 
early period, are discovered in considerable quantities ; but with the exception of a rude 
key, dug up at the time of the writer's visit to the spot, few, if any, relics of by-gone 

6 Blomelield. " Brewster MSS. 



days have been brought to light. The vast extent of the area occupied by this man- 
sion, and the traces of a decoy, for the supply of wild-fowl, which is led some hundred 
yards into the higher grounds, are existing evidences of the rude state and hospitality 
once exercised here. The present residence called Wathe's Hall is a good and sub- 
stantial farm-house, erected to the south of the ancient site, and is, probably, two 
hundred years old, though recent plastering and repairs have covered every antique 


The church at Cove is a rectory in the gift of the Crown, dedicated to St. Botolph, 
and was probably erected by the Jernegans, if not by the Watliebys, as the doors of the 
nave may claim as high an antiquity. That on the south side, which is the most elabo- 
rate, would exhibit a good specimen of Norman architecture, if its incrustations of white- 
wash were removed. 

The fabric is inelegant and badly proportioned, being 96 feet long, and only 16 wide. 
The interior is clean, and reputably kept, though barbarously disfigured by a huge and 
ugly altar-piece of nondescript architecture, which covers the entire east end ; but, at the 
same time, happily conceals the fact, that the chancel window is unglazed, and stopped 
with masonry. There is a good octangular font at the west end, in excellent preserva- 
VOL. i. G 


tion, though its sculpture is clogged with paint; a species of embellishment much 
affected by modern churchwardens. A square tower, containing three bells, communi- 
cates with the nave by a small pointed arch. The north wall of the nave contains a 
niche, in which were deposited the processional crosses of ancient worship, when not in 
use ; still closed with its oaken door, pierced with open tracery. 

On the floor of the nave are three old brass plates, bearing black-letter inscriptions. 

g>amt 6ri)on, to&o &pe& anno Biti MCCCCLXXXVlll. 

mwp, late tfte topfc of 3ofcn 3Bmwp, e*quer, tofcicft fcptt 
tl)f xvij oaj* of iHartfor, an , ton M.VCXLVIII. 

(Pratt p. aia 2I1flIf #lantl)orpr rt SHirfe tijr: ft: quor: aialnis pptmt 07. 

The descendants of this William Manthorpe were long resident at Cove ; one of 
them having been buried here in 1096. The Fairs, who possessed an estate and resi- 
dence in tliis parish, lately purchased by John Cooper, Esq., of Bungay, have been seated 
in the neighbourhood for some generations. 


John Fair, of licoclcs, = Martha, 

Attorney at Law, obt. 1723. 

obt. 1733. 

John Farr, of Beccles, = Elizabeth, 

obt. 1782. 

obt. 1758. 

John Fair, purchased the Lorina Fuller, 

estate at Cove, obt. 1795. 

obt. 1794. 

John Farr, Hannah Lee, Thomas Fair, = Georgiana, d'. of 

of Cove, obt. 1824. 

obt. 1839, aged 80. of Beccles, living 1845. 

Sir Tho". Gooch, Bart. 

John Lee Fair. = Caroline Other Tho'. Farr. Frederick = Anne Henry Georgiana, Anna Maria, 

Burton. children. 1 W. Farr. Paine. Farr. us. Rev. T. ux. Rev. . . . 

2 3 Sheriffe. Whitaker. 

John Farr, the purchaser of the estate at Cove, with Lorina, his wife, and John Fair, 
1 heir son, are buried at Cove, where are handsome mural monuments to their memory. 
Hannah Lee, the widow of John Farr, who died in 1824, is also interred there. The 


last-mentioned gentleman was a magistrate, and deputy-lieutenant for the county. Earr 
impales Lee, az. 2 bars or ; over all a bend counter-compone gules and erminois. 

In the church-yard is an altar-tomb covering the remains of Richarda, daughter of 
Dr. Anthony Sparrow, late Bishop of Norwich, who died the 20th .... 1700. 

But by far the most ancient monumental records connected with this parish, are t\vo 
gravestones, lying half sunk in the sod, near the above altar-tomb. They are coped, 
or "en dos d'ane" tombs of the eleventh century, and perhaps memorials of the 

The custom of placing crosses on the tombs of the deceased is extremely ancient, for 
among the laws of Kenneth, King of Scotland, who flourished in the ninth century, \ve 
meet with this command, " Esteem every sepulchre sacred, and adorn it with the sign 
of the cross, which take care you do not so much as tread on." 

Among the Rectors of Cove was the Rev. Henry Harington, D.I)., Prebendary of 
Bath and Wells; Rector of North Cove with Williiighani St. Mary annexed; and of 
Haynford, in Norfolk ; and Assistant Minister of St. Peter's Mancroft, in Norwich. 
He died in that city, December 23, L74k -^gpA^ years, lie was admitted of Queen s 
College, Oxford, where he proceeded A^,/ in ;n7 7. He was the son of Dr. Harington, 
of Bath, and the original editor of tl|e\Nugl Antiquse,' from the papers of his ancestor. 
Sir John Harington, the poet, of Kelston^ near Bath ; and married Esther, second sister 
of Serjeant Lens. 

Charities in North Cove. 4 per anmim are given to the poor in coals, arising from 

* * }, 

about three acres of land, lying in Enough, : and a small piece in Cove. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Hugo de Novo Castro . 1284 The King. 

Robert Gilling . 1301 Id. 

Ralph de Ichington . . 1307 Id. 

Clement de Lek . . 1317 Id. 

Robert Dannis . . 1349 Id. 

JohnleClerc . . . 1354 Id. 

John de Pulham . . 1361 Id. 

John Blakeney . . 1394 Id. 

Henry Drayton . . 1395 Id. 

John Atte Wall . . 1398 Id. 

Ralph Wade . . . 1413 Id. 

William Fraunceys . . 1414 Id. 

Edmund Pelse . . 1418 Id. 

Robert Hnneworth . 1420 Id. 




Thomas Eppe . 
John Dash 
John Walson . 
William Wyghell 
William Wra . 
John Smith 
Thomas Heerd 
Thomas Bingley 
Peter Hewet . 
Thomas Whitton 
William Guybons 
John Darley 
Thomas Yarner 
Anthony Blaxter 
Gabriel Honifield 
Thomas Loftus 
William Hynde 
Thomas Draper 
Jacobus Bell . 
Laurence Echard 
Timothy Strange 
James Carter, Jun. 
James Carter . 
John Soley 
William Leech 
Henry Harington 
George Beevor 
George Beevor 
Richard Gooch 

Date. Patrons. 

1427 The King. 

1455 Id. 

1468 Id. 

1476 Id. 


1494 Id. 


1522 Id. 

1554 The Bishop, by lapse. 

1557 The Bishop, by lapse. 

1567 The Crown. 

1580 Id. 

1595 Id. 

1611 Id. 

1612 Id. 

1646 Id. 
1678 Id. 
1696 Id. 
1724 Id. 
1743 Id. 

1779 Id. 

1780 Id. 
1790 Id. 

1792 The Archbishop : the See being vacant. 

1797 Instituted a second time by the Crown. 

1810 The Crown. 


DR. TANNER says, "Ellough appears to have been the chief name of this village for at 
least three hundred years, because in one of the Institution Books, prior to the date of 
1400, it is called Elgh, quasi alio nomine Willingham omnium sanctorum." 

It is a small retired village, lying oft' the main road, and comprising only 1052 acres 
of land, the tithes of which have been commuted for a rent charge of 300 per annum, 
exclusive of the value of the glebes. 

In Domesday Book it is written Elga, and is therein stated to have been the property 
of Burchard, a wealthy Saxon, in the days of Edward the Confessor. It was granted 
after the Norman conquest to Ralph Guader, Earl of Norfolk, who lost it by rebelling 
against the Crown, when it passed to Roger Bigot, and was held under him by Robert 
de Vallibus, at the time of the Survey. 

In the ninth of Edward I., Ellough was again the lordship of the Crown, though in 
the thirty-first of the same reign, Sir Walter Mouncey presented to the church. The 
manor then passed to the family of Berry; Hugo de Berry being lord in 1322; with 
whose descendants it remained about a century, and was then transferred by marriage 
to Sir Thomas Bardolph. In the thirty-third of Henry VI., William Bonds conveyed to 
John Southwell, and Alice his wife, relict of Sir Thomas Bardolph, and heiress of Berry, 
the manors of Ellough and Pakefield. 1 The date, however, of the above transfer, as fixed 
by Blomefield, is not strictly correct, as Southwell presented to the church in 1452. In 
1477, the manor was with Thomas Aslack, Esq., from whose descendants it passed by 
a female heir to Thomas Playters, Esq., of Sotterley. In 1541, Thomas Playters pre- 
sented; and by an inquisitio post mortem, taken on the 20th of October, anno 1583) 
William Playters, of Sotterley, was found to die seized, inter alia, of the manors and 
advowsons of Sotterley, Uggeshall, and Ellough ; and the reversion of the manor of 
Brusyard. He died June the 6th, in that year, and Thomas was found to be his son 
and heir. The Playters family held the lordship for above two hundred years, when it 
was sold, in 1787, to Robert Sparrow, of Worlingham, Esq., and has since descended, 
with his other estates in the neighbourhood, to the Earl of Gosford, his son-in-law, who 
is the present proprietor. 

1 Blomefield, vol. x. p. 276. 


By a rental of the manor of Ellough for the year 1685, it appears to have extended 
at that time into the following parishes : Weston, Shaddingfield, Redisham, Brampton, 
Sotterley, Henstead, Mutford, Rushmere, Kessingland, Gisleham, Pakefield, North Cove, 
Worlingham, and Beccles. 2 

In Dr. Tanner's notes, 1745, it is stated that the Rector of Ellough, alias Willingham 
All Saints, hath some glebe lands within the bounds of Willingham St. Mary, which the 
Rector of the latter parish claims the tithes of, and which claim the Doctor seems unable 
to determine. 


at Ellough stands upon the ridge of what is termed in Suffolk a hill ; and, though occu- 
pying a rather bleak and naked site, looks down upon a rich but narrow valley, in which 
the rectory-house and garden are situated. 

The preferment is a rectory dedicated to All Saints, and comprises a nave and chan- 
cel, without aisles, and a square tower containing three bells, open to the former by a 
good and lofty arch, the archivolt mouldings of which die into the abutments ; a fashion 
very prevalent in the early part of the fourteenth century. 

The body of the church is covered with lead, supported by fine oak timbers, which 
were originally adapted to a higher pitch ; but having been shortened on the principles 
of modern church economy to a flatter angle, they produce an anomalous effect, not very 
agreeable to the eye of taste. The chancel is covered by a roof of slate, sustained by a 
light frame of deal. 

The nave is entered through a south porch of red brick, built in 1602, by private 
liberality, as we learn from the following inscription placed over the external face of 
the arch. 

Cftisf ri)urd)t porrije toas inuTtrefc at tfte onlpt rosite antJ charges of 
Cftomas Eobe of tftfe par&fr, anno Domini 1602. 

There is an octangular font, ornamented with rosettes and shields, at the west end 
of the nave ; and part of what must once have been an elegant screen forms a partition 
between pews in the nave and chancel. Some open seats in the latter, finely carved in 
oak or chestnut wood, appear to have been long consigned to a neglect which neither 
their excellence nor solidity deserve. 

On the 6th of April, 1643, this church was visited by the puritanical reformer, 
William Dowsing, who says in his journal, " we brake down twelve superstitious pictures, 

2 Jermyn MSS. 


and the stepps to be levelled, and a cross to be taken off the chancel, which they promised 
to do." If this purifier of our churches were now to visit Ellough, he would find little 
embellishment to condemn ; if we except a small unpretending piscina, which occupies 
the usual position in the south wall of the chancel. 

Edmund Besylham, of Ellough, by his will, dated January 4, 1476, desires his body 
to be buried in the church of Ellough. His will was proved in January, 1498, but 
Alicia, his wife, who survived him, did not take out letters of administration. 3 

At the time of the Reformation, there was a guild of St. John the Baptist in this 

The registers of Ellough are very defective ;. the oldest bearing a date not higher 
than 1720. 

Monuments. There is a small brass effigy of a female, placed within the communion 
rails, the lines of which are nearly obliterated. The inscription, in more perfect condi- 
tion, commemorates "Margaret Chewt, the faythfull loving wyfe of Arthare Chcwt, 
gentleman, daughter to Christopher Playters, Esquer, who died at thage of 85, in ffebru- 
arie, 1607." 

At the head of this effigy are the arms of Playters, Bendy-wavy of six, arg. and az., 
on the dexter or husband's side ; while those of Chewt occupy the contrary position. 
Chcwt, or Chute, bears Gules, three swords bar-wise, arg. hiltcd or. 

2. Hie jacet Anna Gostling, uxor Gulielmi Gostling, gcnerosi ; obiit vicesimo die 
mensis Januarij Anno Dni, 1612. 

Gostling's arms are a chevron between three crescents. 

3. A large floor-stone in the chancel bears a long and not inelegant Latin epitaph to 
Thomas Symonds, A.M., twelve years Rector of Ellough, who died October 12, Anno 
Dni, 1748, aged 38 years. 

At the top are the arms of Symonds ; Sable, a dolphin embowed, gorging a small 
fish, both argent. 

The poor of this parish have an allotment of about five acres of land, for which they 
are allowed six hundreds of fagots annually. 

By the census of 1841, the population of Ellough was 155. 

3 Harl. MSS. 







William Goudewyn . , 


Walter Mouncey, Knt. 

Robert de Elmham . 

Peter de Pakefield . 


Hugo de Berry 

Thomas de Spiney . 



Thomas de Drayton . 



Thomas Greneford . 



Robert le Spencer 



John le Well . 


Alicia de Berry 

Thomas Kemp 


Alicia de Berry 

Richard Marshall 


Edmund Berry, Knt. 

John Robin 



Thomas Thelnethan . 



John Grace 

Richard Athow 


Sir Thomas Bardolph. 

Robert Herring 



Reginald Smethe 


John Southwell, Esq. 

John Canterbury 


William Wra . 


Thomas Aslack, Esq. 

Robert Pury 



Edmund Woodrove . 



Robert Bumpstede . 



William Woodyard . 



Robert Blunderston . 

( 'hristopher Lacebe . 


Thomas Playters, Esq. 

William Richardson . 



William Reddiswaye 


The Bishop, by lapse. 

William Rigway 


The King, by lapse. 

Thomas Jellis . 


Thomas Playters, Esq. 

Joseph Fleming 


Assignees of Thomas Playters, Knt. 

Christopher West 


Sir Thomas Playters. 

John Moore 

Edward Warner 


Sir Lionel Playters, Bart. 

John Stewkley 


John Playters, Esq. 

James Bedingfeld 



William Schuldham . 



Thomas Symonds 


Thomas Page, elk. p. h. v. 

John Leman 


Sir John Playters, Bart. 

Robert Leman . 



Joseph Dixie Churchill 


Robert Sparrow, Esq. 

Clement Chevallier . 



Richard Aldous Arnold 


Earl of Gosford, and Dawson Turner, Esq. 

Estimatio ecclie xviij marc. 

Synodalia pr. 

annum xviij. Denarii S. Petri, ix rf . 4 

Norwich Domesday Book. 



HULVERSTREET is a hamlet of Henstead, a parish in the Hundred of Blything, where its 
history will be detailed. 

THIS is a district of heavy but fertile land, not more than four or five miles south-west 
of Beccles ; but being approached by cross roads only, and containing no object of pecu- 
liar interest, is little known. It appears, to a passing stranger, a lost and half-deserted 
village, for which its early appropriation to Butley Priory, and its consequent incapacity 
to maintain a resident pastor, will, in great measure, account. 

The appropriation of the revenues of the secular clergy by the religious houses, was, 
to say the least of it, an impolitic and unjustifiable measure ; but the subsequent occu- 
pation of ecclesiastical property by laymen, is a blot on the Reformation, and an augmen- 
tation of the robbery at first committed by monastic rapacity. 

Great Redisham, which is also called, in ancient writings, Upredesham, was held at 
the period of the Norman Survey by Robert de Curcun, under Roger Bigot, the capital 
lord ; and afterwards belonged to Hugo de Berry. 1 It then became the lordship of a 
family which assumed its surname from the village; for in the fifty-first of Henry III., 
Walter Redisham had free-warren in Redisham, Upredesham, Stanfield, Weston, and 
Ringsfield. 2 

In the ninth of Edward L, Roesia de Redisham was lady of the manor, which soon 
after passed to Sir John de Norwich, who, in the thirty-first of Edward III., obtained a 
charter of free-warren for all his demesne lands in this town. He bequeathed it, with 
his other estates, to John his grandson, who left it to his next heir, Katharine de Brews, 
who released to John Plaice, Sir Robert Howard, Knt., and others, all her right in tin's 
manor, &c., 3 which was settled on the college in Mettingham Castle, where it remained 
till the dissolution of that religious establishment. 

By an inquisitio post mortem, taken at Ipswich, on the 6th of April, thirty-fourth of 
Henry VIII., William Rede, citizen and mercer of London, was found to die on the 10th 
of February in that year, seized of the manor of Redisham, held of the King, as of his 
Hundred of Wangford, and valued at 12. 13*. 4</.* 

1 Mag. Brit. 2 Cal. Rot. Charta, p. 94. 

3 Harl. MSS., No. 971, p. 177. 4 Cole's Esch. vol. ii. p. 37. 

VOL. I. H 


By a like inquisition, taken at Bury, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it appears 
that Robert Bumpstede held three acres of pasture in Great Redisham, late parcel of the 
lands of Mettingham College, now dissolved, of the value of three shillings ; and of the 
lady of the manor, in capite, by service of a tenth part of a knight's fee, a messuage, 
four cottages, thirty acres of land, thirty of pasture, twenty of meadow, and five acres of 
wood, in Redisham Magna, Redisham Parva, Ringsfield, &c. 

The lordship afterwards became united with those in Little Redisham, and is now 
the property of John Garden, Esq., of Redisham Hall. The Priory of Butley possessed 
rents here. 


of Great Redisham was appropriated by the Convent of Butley, about the middle of the 
thirteenth century, by the permission of Walter Suffield, Bishop of Norwich. 5 The 
impropriation was granted in the twentieth of Elizabeth, to John Hercy, and John 
Hay ward. The tenure of the rectory is of the King, in capite, at the yearly rent of 
1. O.v. 4f/., and the impropriators are boiind to provide for serving the church. There 
is a mortuary here, by custom, of 6s. 8d., to be paid upon the decease of any person 

dying, having an estate worth 6 The church-yard seems to belong to the 

impropriator ; for in 1678, Thomas Andrews held by agreement for two years, from 
Michaelmas of the above date, the parsonage-house, the church-yard, and two glebe 
" pytles " adjoining the said house, and other lands hereafter mentioned, " being parcell 
of the manor of Redisham aforesaid." These two glebe pightles, with the church-yard 
adjoining, contain about five acres. 7 

The church is dedicated to St. Peter, and is now a perpetual curacy of the returned 
yearly value of 50. It pays 9d. synodals, and 4</. Peter-pence, and is in the gift of 
the Earl of Gosford, who is the impropriator. 

It is a small edifice, comprising simply a nave and chancel. On visiting this church 
in April, 1842, the writer found it in a most deplorable condition: the walls cracked, 
and swerving from the perpendicular ; the tower fallen ; the old bell, with the date of 
1621, split in two; the roof of the nave defective, and the interior lined with a mass of 
dank green mould. The feeling of damp and unwholesomeness consequent on this 
neglect is past description ; and yet the zeal and taste of olden times shone out through 
all this desolation in the carved oak benches, the handsome font of stone, and the 
elaborate portals of the nave. It is only justice, however, to add, that the fabric has 
since been made proof against the elements ; the walls secured ; a new roof raised, and 
covered with slate ; and a small bell-turret placed on the gable of the nave. 

5 ' Ex concessione Walter! Suffield Epis. Norwic. ad solatium et recreationem Infirm.' Kalend : Buttele, 
M.S. 46. s jermyn MSS. ? Idem . 



The interior fittings of the church remain in sad condition ; but it is consolatory 
that so much has been done in these days of architectural apathy, when the spirit 
of Nehemiah's appeal appears unheeded, " Why should not my countenance be sad, 
when the place of my fathers' sepulchres lieth waste ? " 

The chancel, in better repair than the nave, is lighted by an elegant east window, 
having a single shaft, with tracery in the style fashionable in our first Edward's reign ; 
and also by two lancet windows, simply cusped. 

The nave, with its circidar doorways, is of a date considerably anterior, and that on 
the south side affords a good example of the rude Norman architecture so prevalent in 

the Suffolk village churches. The archivolt mouldings of the chancel arch are raised 
about a yard above their capitals, but the arch itself has never been completed. 


The font is octangular, with carvings of rosettes and shields in alternate compart- 
ments, and stands at the west end, near some good old oak benches, two of which, 
nearest the font, have backs freely carved with open quatrefoils. The elbow rest of 
another, now enclosed by a paltry deal pew, is finished with a spirited figure of a dog 
drinking from a tub, his head and neck being completely immersed. There are no 
armorial designs or monumental inscriptions in the church. 

The register books, preserved in the parish chest, commence in 1713, though some 
are in private hands, beginning in 1540. By what means they have been withdrawn, 
and at what period, is unknown. They contain, among many others, the following 

" Sir John Grimlyn, Parson of Gt. Redsham, buried 6th of August, 3 and 4 Phil. 
and Mary. 

" Lyoncll Playtcrs, of Enough, Esq., S. M., and Martha Castell, daughter of Talmash 
Castell, of Ravcningham, in Norfolk, S. W., married 22 May, 1673." 

Will. Dowsing thus records his visit to Great Redisham church. "April the 5th. 
A crucifix and three other superstitious pictures, and gave order for Mr. Barenby, the 
parson, to levell the steps in the chancel. He preach but once a day." 

The subjoined brief list of incumbents contains all the institutions recorded at the 
Episcopal office in Norwich, and forms another unaccountable fact in the history of this 
" deserted village." 


Incumbents. Date. Patrons. 

Thomas Page . 

Peter Routh . . . 17G4 Robt. Sparrow, Esq., Anne his wife, and Mary 


Bcnce Sparrow . . 1/74 Robt. Sparrow, Esq., and others. 

James Safford . . . 1786 The same, and Mary Bence. 

William Spurdens . . 1MO.~> Robt. Sparrow, Esq. 

Bence Bence . . . 1814 Id. 

Hugh Owen . . . 1824 Archibald, Earl of Gosford. 

Richard Aldous Arnold . 1830 Id. 

9. Gs. 8d. per annum are applied to the support of a Sunday school in this parish, 
bequeathed in 1805, by Mrs. Mary Leman. 

Population in 1841, 165. 

The ancient family of De Redisham appears to have been of knightly degree, and 
bore argent, six fleurs-de-lis gules, 3. 2. 1. Their name and property became finally 
vested in the line of the Heveninghams, one of whom married Elizabeth, the sole heiress 
of the Redishams ; but in what reign this occurred I have not yet ascertained. 



LITTLE REDISIIAM was, probably, severed at a very early period from the manor of 
Great, or Upredesham. It contains the three lordships of Strattons, Elyses, and 
Redisham Hall. 

In the reign of Edward III., the two former of these appear to have been part of the 
extensive property of Sir John de Norwich, the founder of Mettingham Castle, the rent- 
roll of whose tenants is now in the possession of John Garden, Esq. 

By a deed dated at Ilketshall " in festo purificacois bte Marie Virginis," anno 1422, 
William Goneld, son of Margery Belstede, releases to Thomas Croftes, of Beccles, and 
others, his manors of Strattons and Elyses, with other lands and hereditaments in 
Norfolk and Suffolk, which he inherited of Thomas Goneld, his father. He seals with 
a rude representation of a wheatsheaf. 

In 1428, Margery Belstede, by deed dated from Ilketshall, "in pura viduatate" 
releases to Thomas Belstede, her son, all her claims which she now has, or ever had, in 
the manors of Strattons and Elyses, lying in the parishes of Ilketshall and Redisham 

The family of Crofts retained possession of these manors but a few years ; for in the 
seventeenth of Edward IV., (anno 1476,) Thomas Crofts, Esq., Edwarde Jenny, Henry 
Rous, Esq., Thomas Banyard, of Spexhall, and Thomas Goche, elk., released them, with 
all their appurtenances, to Thomas Duke. Five seals are attached to this deed : Crofts 
seals with a lion rampant ; Jenny uses his hawk and Jessies on a gauntlet ; Rous seals 
with a rosette ; Banyard, a trefoil ; and Goche appends the letter G, surmounted by a 
ducal crown, the employment of which bearing over an initial letter is very frequent 
in ancient deeds, by persons who were not entitled to armorial ensigns. 

Thomas Duke held his first court-baron for these lordships, August 8th, 1476. 1 

In April, 1613, Thomas Goodwyn, and Thomas Duke, Esq., held the manors of 
Strattons and Elyses, as guardians of 'Edward Duke, Esq., son and heir of Ambrose 
Duke, Esq., deceased. The Dukes remained owners of these estates about two hundred 
and fifty years, when Sir Edward Duke, Bart., son of Sir John Duke, dying childless, 
in 1732, bequeathed them, with other estates, by his will, proved on the 23rd of October 
in that year, to Edmund Tyrrell, Elizabeth Braham, Jane Braham, and Arabella Taylor, 
his nephew and nieces, his heirs-at-law : and thereupon the said Edmund Tyrrell became 

1 Jermyn MSS. 


entitled to all the estates devised to him by the will of Sir Edward, his uncle, subject to 
the payment of the said testator's debts, and the legacies thereby given. 

In 1742, Thomas Tanner, elk., Rector of the united parishes of St. Edmund the King, 
and St. Nicholas Aeons, in the city of London, purchased these manors of Mr. Tyrrell, 
for 9957. 12s. Tanner married Mary, daughter of John Potter, Lord Archbishop of 
Canterbury, who covenanted to pay 3000 down on the day of marriage, as his 
daughter's portion ; and 500 within one month of the birth of her first child. 

Tanner settled the manors of Straitens and Elyses upon this lady and her issue, 
which was an only daughter, Mary Elizabeth, afterwards married to Richard Mills, Esq., 
who, in her right, became lord. Dr. Tanner died in 1786. 

On the 7th of October, 1808, John Garden, Esq., of the city of Westminster, pur- 
chased the manors of Redisham, Ilketshall, Elyses, and Strattqns, of Mr. Mills, whose 
son, John Garden, Esq., is the present possessor. 2 


was transferred in the year 1394, by Robert Francis, of Shaddingfield, and Robert 
Berchem, of Brampton, in the county of Suffolk, to Robert Garneys, of Heveningham, Esq. 
Peter Garncys, son of the above Robert Gamcys, was enfeoffed of the manor of Redisham 
Hall, in Little Redisham, in 1407 ; and in the same year, Robert Garneys, and Katharine 
his wife, settled it on William their son. This William Garneys married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Sir Ralph Bigot, Knight, of Stockton; and died in 1428, seized, in fee, 
of the manors of Geldeston, Kirby-cane, and Stockton, held of the Abbot of Bury. 

In 1450, Ralph Garneys, his son, died without issue of his body, whereon the 
manors of Redisham Hall, Weston, &c., passed to his uncle, Peter Garneys, of Beccles, 
who by his will, proved on the 5th of February in the following year, bequeathed them 
to his son, Thomas Garneys. 

About the middle of the sixteenth century, this estate was held by Nicholas Garneys, 
son of John Garneys, of Kenton, and, eventually, heir to his elder brother, Thomas 

Nicholas Garneys, of Redisham Hall, was High Sheriff for Suffolk in 1592. He built 
Redisham Hall, lately demolished ; and his estates in this parish, Kenton, Mourning- 
thorpe, Ringsfield, &c., exceeded 1200 per annum : a noble income at that day. He 
married Ann, daughter of Charles Clere, of Stokesby, in Norfolk ; and dying in the year 
1599, was buried at Ringsfield, where there is a handsome monument placed to his 
memory, which will be noticed hereafter. 

2 MSS. pen. J. Garden, Esq. 


Nicholas, his fifth son, inherited the manor of Redisham, which he devised to Frances 
and Elizabeth, daughters of his brother, Edward Garneys. 

By indentures of lease and release, 30th and 31st of July, 1700, Frances Garneys, 
then Frances Jacob, of Beccles, widow, conveyed her moiety of the manor of Redisham, 
called in the rolls Little Redisham, to Sir John Duke, Bart., for 1204. 7*. Qd. ; and 
by a like transfer, bearing date the 3rd and 4th of January, 1706, George Pretyman, 
of Bacton, in the county of Suffolk, gentleman, and George Pretyman, his son and heir, 
by Elizabeth, his late wife, daughter of Edward Garneys, conveyed the other moiety to 
Sir Edward Duke, the son of Sir John Duke. 3 

The manor of Redisham Hall thus became the property of the owner of Strattons 
and Elyses, and passed with them to their present possessor, John Garden, Esq., of 
Redisham Hall. 

The ancient, once wealthy and wide-spreading family of Garneys, whose long tenure 
of Redisham has just been detailed, is now represented by Charles Garneys, Esq., 
of Bungay. Their principal seat, for many generations, was at Kenton Hall, in Suffolk ; 
but as Redisham was their earliest possession, I have introduced their pedigree here, 
which I have compiled from every accessible source ; the principal of which consist 
of ancient and veritable family documents, entries in the Herald's College, heraldic 
visitations, and family monuments. 

The representative of this ancient line is descended from John Garneys, lord of the 
manor of Hamonds, in the parish of Mickfield, second son of John Garneys, of Kenton ; 
and it is difficult to say how Nicholas Garneys, his younger brother, became heir to the 
bulk of the family property, to the prejudice of the elder branch. Nicholas not only 
inherited Redisham the earliest, but also Kenton, the principal seat of the family, and 
eventually enjoyed the estates of Richard Garneys, of Boyland Hall, in Norfolk, a 
remote relative, who died childless in 1571. 

There is abundant evidence to show that John Garneys, of Mickfield, was married, 
though the name of his wife is not recorded ; and that he was succeeded in that parish 
by John, his son, and Nicholas, his grandson. 

The crest usually borne by this family is a mermaid attiring herself in the sea, 
proper ; though the old and true cognizance is a cubit arm erased, grasping a scymitar 
embrued, all proper, the hilt and pommel of the scymitar or. 4 

3 MSS. Garden. 4 Harl. MSS. 1560. 

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VOL. I. 


The great shield of Garneys, which formerly sparkled with heraldic splendour in 
several of their mansions, contains twelve quarterings, viz. 

1. Garneys. 

2. Ramsey, gules, 3 rains' heads caboshed arg., armed or. 

3. Wellisham, sable, 2 bars arg. ; in chiefs cinquefoils or. 

4. Kenton, sable, a chevron between 3 cinquefoils erm. 

5. Franceys, gules, a chev. engr. erm. between 3 falcons displayed arg. 
6'. Denston, az. 2 lioncels pass, guard, or. 

7. AVanton, arg. on a chevr. sab. a cinquefoil of the field. 

8. Sulyard, arg. a chevr. gules, between 3 pheons sab. 

9. Hingate, gules, a chev. between 3 hounds sejant arg. 
10. Bacon, of Baconsthorpc, az. 3 boars passant or. 

1 1 . Antingham, sable, a bend argent. 

12. Banyard, sable, a fess between 2 chevronels or. 

In the motto every word begins with a G, the initial letter of the family name. 

Rcdisham Hall, built by Nicholas Garneys during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, was 
a fine old mansion, demolished about twenty years since to make way for the elegant 
residence of John Garden, Esq. It contained some good and lofty apartments, and was 
rich in the clustered ornamented chimneys which so especially marked the domestic 
architecture of the era in which it was erected. The excellency of its masonry was 
proved at the time of its destruction, when many parts of the walls fell in large masses ; 
the tenacity of the mortar, in several cases, resisting all attempts to separate the brick- 
work. A remarkable instance of the slow, but sure destruction wrought by ivy on the 
buildings to which it attaches itself was manifested here. A solid gable had afforded 
access, by some narrow unseen aperture, to the tender shoots of this insidious plant, 
which gradually expanded till the wall was rent from top to bottom, and at length 
presented a chink wide enough to admit the arm of a full-grown man. 


or, as it is called in some old writings, the Free Chapel, of Little Redisham, is a very 
small building, now in ruins, which comprised, in its perfect state, a nave and chancel 
only, without either aisles or tower. 

The Prior and Convent of Butley were patrons of this preferment previous to the 
Reformation, and presented to it as a separate benefice till the year 1450, when it 
was annexed to the rectory of Ringsfield, at the request of the monks of that establish- 
ment. It is probable that the fabric soon after fell into decay, though the two livings 


were not consolidated till the year 1627. 5 It was certainly in ruins in 1613, because in 
that year, Nicholas Garneys, then patron, presented a petition to the King and the Lord 
Chancellor, stating, that whereas he had bought the advowson of Ringsfield and the free 
chapel of Little Redisham, .of Edward Clere, who had purchased them of the late 
Queen Elizabeth with an imperfect title; he, therefore, prays that the defect may be 
remedied under the Great Seal, and engages in such case to rebuild, at his own charge, 
the church of Redisham, then in ruins. A petition was also sent by the parishioners to 
the same effect. A representation of the state of the case was likewise made by Dr. 
Jegon, then Bishop of Norwich. Although a reference on the part of the King was 
made to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chancellor, and the decree of those 
dignitaries obtained in 1613, it does not appear that the prayer of the petition was 
granted ; for the fabric was neither rebuilt nor repaired. 6 


Incumbents. Date. Patrons. 

Joes Bould . . . 1301 Convent of Butley. 

Joes de Synch . . 1326 Id. 

Thomas de Halum . . 1341 Id. 

Galfridus Ryngebell . 1360 Id. 

Alexander Cobbe . . 1393 Id. 

Joes Russell . . . 1393 Id. 

Joes Baston . . . 1405 Id. 

Waupull . . . 1410 Id. 

Hugo Cleye ... 1442 Id. 

Thomas Heygreve . . 1450 Bishop, by lapse. 

John Appulton . . 1450 Prior and Convent of Butley. 

Estimatio ecclie 6 marc: Synodalia ix d . Peter-pence \iij d . j. 7 

RINGSFIELD is a retired village, containing 1666 acres of land, and a population of 311 
souls, according to the returns of the last census. The rectory and several farm-houses 
nestle around its humble church, which stands near the western boundaries of the 
parish, in a narrow valley, fertile, warm, and sheltered. 

* MSS. pen. Epis. Norwic. 6 MSS. Dawson Turner, Esq. 

7 Norwich Domesday Book. 


In Saxon times, a free-man of Edward the Confessor held Ringsfield. The manor 
was retained by the Conqueror, and returned among his estates in the Domesday 
Survey. Roger Bigot had also an estate here. 

It seems to have passed at a subsequent period into private hands, and augmented 
the vast estates held in this neighbourhood by the family of Vaux. In 1263, Henry de 
Vallibus or Vaux obtained a charter of free-warren from the Crown in his manors of 
Ringsfield, Barsham, and Ilketshall. 1 

In the 51st of the same reign, Walter de Redisham held the like privileges in this 
village, though the manor does not seem to have been alienated by the former family ; 
as Sir John de Vallibus was still lord in 1280. 2 

In the 8th of Edward II., the family of Roos, of Roos Hall, held the manor of 
Ringsfield. 3 In the 37th of Edward III., Maria, daughter of the late Earl of Suffolk, 
held, in dower, four knights' fees, granted by the King to William Ufford, and Joan his 
wife, in Ringsfield, Chadensfield (Slmddingfield), Thuryton, Brusyard, and Sweffling, in 
Suffolk, which John de Brusyard once held. 4 The manor appears to have descended 
from this time with that of Little Redisham, and is now held by John Garden, Esq., of 
Redisham II all. It is considered little more than a reputed manor, as no courts are 
held, the copyholds having merged into the hands of the lord, or become emancipated. 
In loGl, Ringsfield possessed a comparative importance, as it then contained seven 
freeholders, while Redisham furnished but one. 5 


is a small and humble fabric, comprising a nave and chancel only, with a square 
tower at the west end. The doorway in the nave is a plain semicircular portal, 
without pillars or mouldings ; but the other architectural features are of a later date, 
and present a strange medley of styles, partaking of the Gothic, properly so called, 
and exhibiting not a few specimens of the Guelphic or nondescript architecture of the 
last century. Its interior contains a few poppy-heads of an ancient and bold character, 
the gift of the Garneys family, as appears by their arms ; but is principally filled with 
rather old pews of oak, elaborately, but flatly carved. The ceiling of plaster is fan- 
tastically painted in imitation of the firmament, with clouds, stars, and circles. The 
screens, and the wainscot of the chancel walls, are abundantly charged with quotations 
from the Scriptures, and moral adages in Latin and Hebrew. These ornaments if 
ornaments they be mark the taste of Robert Shelford, who was Bible Clerk of Peter 
House in Cambridge, and instituted Rector here in 1599. A large gallery projects 

1 Carta, 48 Hen. III. Jermyn MSS. * Harl. MSS. * Idem, 5193. * Harl. MSS. 



Published fry John. Weale,I,ondo7is,2846. 







J.jn^an.P u l>li.fl<tatyJahnlfrr'le af Au Arckitt. -html Liiriar)..y \Bu>>l T 


into the nave from the west wall, and is hideously ugly. It bears on its front the 
following lines, which appear to have been placed there almost in deprecation of a 
criticism like the present : 

Who is living under the sunne 
Can shun the bighting of the tongue ? 
The better done, the more envied, 
Yet of the best, the best are justified. 

The tower, which contains two bells, was built about the middle of the 1 5th century ; 
for Peter Garneys, of Beccles, by his will dated 20th of August, 1450, left a bequest to 
the reparation of the high altar at Ringsfield, and to the repairs of the church ; and to 
the new steeple there, 13*. 4J. There is a handsome octangular font of stone. 

Against the exterior face of the south wall of the chancel is a lofty marched monu- 
ment, placed to the memory of Nicholas Garneys, of Redisham Hall. On a tablet of 
brass, represented by the accompanying engraving, are pourtrayed the effigy of this 
gentleman, with that of Anne Clere, his wife, and those of his numerous family. The 
figures are represented in devotional attitudes, kneeling on cushions, and the principal 
personages habited in surcoats of their respective arms. The design and execution of 
this brass are in a style so much anterior to the year 1599, when Nicholas Gameys 
died, and so superior in execution to the other parts of the monument, that for above 
twenty years the writer entertained an opinion, that the executors of this wealthy esquire 
had appropriated the monument of some more ancient member of the family, and placed 
- it here. Subsequent investigation has discovered it to be almost a fac-simile of a brass 
still remaining in Kenton church, in this county, commemorating one of the Garneys 
family ; the armorial cognizances at the upper part superseding a popish device of the 
Trinity, and the family bearings of the lady being changed. Nicholas Garneys was 
High Sheriff for Suffolk in 1592, and died, as before observed, in 1599, though the 
date is omitted on the tomb, leaving behind him a landed estate, even then exceeding 
1200 per annum. 

In the chancel is an altar-tomb, surmounted by a mural slab, both of which record 
the virtues of Robert Shelford, Rector of this parish, who died in 1627, aged 64 years. 

The other sepulchral monuments in this church are of a more modern date, and 
record 1st. John Bence, Esq., who died Feb. 20th, 1680. 2nd. John Garden, Esq., of 
Redisham Hall, who died the 28th of April, 1820, aged 65 years. 3rd. The Reverend 
Gunton Postle, M. A., late Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and nearly 
forty years Rector of this parish, who died June 26th, 1829, aged 72. 

Garden bears or, a boar's head erased sab., langued gules. Postle bears arg., on 
a fess vert, 3 garbs or; and impales Woodley, sab., a chevron between 3 owls arg. 
Against the outer wall of the nave is a small monument erected to the memory of Philip 


Prime, who died in 1740, and bearing his arms; arg., a human leg couped above the 
knee sable. 

The registers of this parish contain the records of little more than the last century, 
the older books having been destroyed by fire, according to some accounts ; while others 
attribute their loss to the effects of a flood, which washed out the entries, and rotted the 
parchments. The last is, probably, the true cause of this loss, as the church is some- 
times inundated to the depth of two feet, or more, by a brook which flows close by. At 
the time of the Domesday Survey the church of Ringsfield possessed fifteen acres of 
glebe, valued at 2s. 8d., which are now augmented to thirty-six acres and a half. The 
total rent-charge for the parish, including Little Redisham, was fixed under the Com- 
mutation Act at 480. 2*. Id. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is valued in the 
King's books at 12, and pays 1. 4s. yearly tenths. The patronage of this preferment 
was very early given to the Convent of Butlcy, which retained it tin its dissolution in the 
reign of Henry VIII., when it fell to the Crown. In the early part of the 17th century, 
John Copping, of Woodton, in Norfolk, presented, and it has ever since been in 
private hands. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Bcnedic de Paston . . 1302 Convent of Butley. 

Henry de Bureford . . 1310 Id. 

Joes de Garboldesham . Id. 

Richard de Walcote . 1331 Id. 

Joes de Rendlesham . 13-19 Id. 

Robert Mone . . 1361 Id. 

William Blaunchflower . 1301 Id. 

Joes Holbeck . . Id. 

Robert Morcole . . 1371 Id. 

JolmOcle . . . 1376 Id. 

Joes Scott ... Id. 

Thomas Andrew . . 1379 Id. 

Philip de Sutton . . 1384 Id. 

Joes Sparrow . . 1385 Id. 

Roger Blaze . . . 1388 Id. 

Jo6s Gravile . . . 1388 Id. 

Alexander Cobbe . . 1393 Id. 

Joes Cobbe . . . 1415 Id. 

Roger Waupull . . 1427 Id. 

Joes Appulton . . 1459 Id. 

Nicholas Johnson . . 1467 Id. 

John Hadleigh . . 1485 Id. 

Richard Grene 1493 Id. 




Richard Hilton 
John Baylson 
Hugo Frier 
Thomas Gurnet 
John Howard 
Thomas Sawyn 
Robert Shelford 
Nicholas Gostlyng 
Nicholas Trott 
Edward Warner 
Samuel Rycroft 
William Radcliffe . 
Abraham Dawson 
Gunton Postle 
Frederick Leathes 
Christopher Clarkson 

Date. Patrons. 

1496 Convent of Butley. 

1510 Id. 

1531 Id. 

1541 The Crown. 

1555 Id. 

1561 The Queen. 

1599 Id. 

1639 John Copping, of Woodton. 

1663 Nicholas Garneys. 

1676 Id. 

1716 Philip Prime. 

1737 Charles Radcliffe. 

1 755 Giles Thickaby. 

1 790 Samuel Postle. 

1829 Mary Postle, widow. 

1845 Charles Rowcliffe, Gent. 

Estimatio ecclie xii marc : Synodalia xii d . Peter-pence, 10-j rf . 6 

Abraham Dawson, instituted Rector of this parish in 1755, which preferment he 
held with Sotterley, published at different times a new translation from the Hebrew, of 
several chapters of the book of Genesis, with notes, critical and explanatory. He died 
October the 4th, 1789. 

Edmund Bohun, a miscellaneous writer of the 17th century, was a native of Rings- 
field. A notice of his works, and a slight memoir of his very checkered life, will be 
given under Westhall, in the Hundred of Blything ; a manor held by himself and his 
ancestors from an early period. 

Ringsfield was visited by Will. Dowsing, who says in his journal, " The sun and 
moon, and Jesus in capital letters, and two crosses on the steeple. We gave order to 
take them down, and levell the steps in 14 days." 

6 Norwich Domesday Book. 


As this village is written Scadenefield and Chadensfield in old deeds, it probably 
derived its appellation from Cheadda, or Chad, Saxon names of frequent occurrence, 
though the particular person is now forgotten whose estate it formed. It was divided at 
the time of the Norman Conquest into several manors, which seem to have escaped the 
usual fate of parochml amalgamation, for it possesses seven at the present day. 

Ilaldein, a free-man of Harold; and a free-man of Archbishop Stigand, each held a 
carucatc of laud here as a manor. These fell to the share of Goisfridus de Mandeville, 
one of the successful Norman Barons. Godwin, the son of Tuka, also held a manor 
under the patronage of Gurth, which estate was granted to Roger Bigot ; and a free-man 
of Tored had an estate in Shaddingneld, which afterwards augmented the possessions 
of Ralph Baiiiard. The Crown, also, retained a manor. 

In 1257, the family of Bocland, or Borland, obtained a grant from the Crown for a 
fair and market, with free-warren, &c., in Shadenfend, Soterley, and Willingham. 1 

In the ninth of Edward I., Hugo dc Berry, whose estates seem to have extended 
over the whole vicinity, possessed a manor here. 

In the tenth of the same reign, William de Giselham had free-warren in Gisleham, 
Kessingland, Brampton, and Shadkenfeld. 2 

In 1;30(5, John de Brusyard held the manor of Shaddingfield of the King, as of his 
manor of Framlingham, 3 which descended to John, his son and heir, who paid 20 to 
the King as a relief for his father's possessions here, held of the same manor of Fram- 
lingham by the service of four knights' fees, which knights' fees are in Shadenesfeld. 4 

In the thirty-seventh of Edward III., Maria, widow of Thomas, Earl of Norfolk, 
held in dower four knights' fees in Chadenesfeld, which John de Brusyard held. 5 

Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, died on the 18th of January, in the forty- 
sixth of the same reign, seized, inter alia, of seven knights' fees in Shadingfield, 
Lethryngham, &c., in the county of Suffolk, which Thomas Wyngfield held, and which 
were formerly held by William Boville, and valued at 3 1. 6 

By an inquisitio post mortem, taken on the 20th of October, in the twenty-sixth of 
Queen Elizabeth, William Playters, of Sotterley, Esq., was found to die, seized of the 
manor and advowson of Shaddingfield ; and by a like inquest, taken at Norwich Castle, 
on the 10th of August, in the fortieth of the same reign, Ed. Duke, Esq., was found to 

1 Carta, 42 Hen. III. p. unica : m. 1. 2 Rot. Cart. 3 Harl. MSS., No. 708. 

4 Harl. MSS. 34, fol. 50. * Id. Id. 700. 

: J 


fc 1 



die the 20th of April preceding, seized of the manor of Brusyard, &c., in Shaddingfield, 
held of the Queen, as of her castle of Framlingham, for half a knight's fee, and valued 
at 3. 7 In the eighth of James I., Ambrose Duke, Esq., died, seized, inter alia, of the 
manor of Brusyard cum Verdons, in Shaddingfield. The manor of Francis, so called 
from an ancient family that possessed it as early as the fourteenth century, passed by 
marriage into the family of the Cuddons, who for many years had their seat at 
Shaddingfield Hall, which, with their estate here, was sold by Eleazer Cuddon, the son 
of Sir Thomas Cuddon, Knt., Chamberlain of London, to Mr. Round, of Essex. 8 The 
property afterwards passed to the Kilners, of whom it was purchased by Thomas Charles 
Scott, Esq., the present proprietor. 

The name of Cuddon, or Codon, occurs in the court books for the manor of Sotterley 
in the year 1434; and Petms Codon is mentioned therein in 1457. The Cuddons 
obtained their estate in Shaddingfield, as before observed, by marriage with the heiress 
of Francis, and became connected with many of the principal families of the neigh- 
bourhood, as those of Duke, Playters, Berney, Baynard, Boston, &c. They appear to 
have fallen into decay soon after selling their estates here, but are not, as is generally 
supposed, extinct. A numerous branch is existing at Bungay, and one at Norwich. 

The old hall, formerly their residence, was a handsome pile of red brick, which had 
some little pretensions to architectural composition and grace ; and stood not far from 
the site of the elegant modern mansion of T. C. Scott, Esq., who possesses a good water- 
coloured drawing of this demolished specimen of old English dwelling-houses. The 
seven manors in Shaddingfield are now held 1st, by the Marquis of Salisbury, in 
whose demesnes the fines are arbitrary; 2nd, by John Garden, Esq., wherein the 
fines are certain ; 3rd, by the Duke of Norfolk ; 4th, by the Earl of Gosford ; each of 
whom receives free-rents. 

Thomas Charles Scott, Thomas Farr, and B. Pierson, Esqrs., claim manors in right 
of their estates, but they are nominal or reputed manors only. 


is a rectory dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and valued in the King's books at 12. 
It comprises a nave and chancel of the same width and height, with a square tower, in 
which hangs one bell. The tower opens to the body of the church by a good arch, but 
the effect is marred by a modern gallery, at the foot of which stands an extremely 
elegant font of stone, in excellent preservation. 

7 Cole's Escheats, vol. iv. p. 208. 8 Kirby. 

VOL. I. K 


The Font at Shaddingfield Church. 

The whole fabric has recently been repaired, and the interior fitted throughout with 
open benches and poppy-heads of an uniform pattern, carved with spirit from ancient 
models ; the old pews, which were mean and irregular, having been condemned by the 
unanimous voice of the parishioners, a consummation devoutly to be wished for in 
every church in England. 

The nave is entered from the south beneath a plain portal in the pointed style ; but 
a few narrow lancet windows, and a doorway on the north side, which exhibits a pointed 
arch enriched with an architrave carved with the dog-tooth moulding, and resting on 
solid jambs, refer the date of this edifice to an early period in our third Henry's reign. 
As usual, windows of enlarged dimensions, and of a later date, pierce the wall in several 
places. In these may be discerned fragments of ancient stained glass, but no entire 
subject remains. The east window of the chancel has been filled with a modern essay 
in this beautiful department of art. Some of the tints are clear and good, but it fails 
in producing that "dim religious light" in which the old glass-stainers are yet 
unrivalled. A very ancient floor-stone, carved with a cross, lies near the font ; and in 
the chancel is a small piscina. Too much commendation cannot be passed upon all 
connected with the charge of this fabric, for the neat and reputable manner in which it 
is fitted up and kept. It must not, however, be concealed, that the modern pulpit is 


unworthy of the fittings by which it is surrounded. Amongst the articles of sacred 
furniture pertaining to the communion table one deserves especial notice, both for its 
antiquity, and the pious spirit which placed it there. It is the communion cloth of fine 
linen, bordered with a deep fringe of lace-work; the appropriation of which we learn 
from a memorandum inserted within the lid of an antique box of oak, in which this relic 
is preserved. " This box, with a cloath for the co~munion table, was given to the parish 
church of Shadingfield by Elizabeth Cud clou, the wife of AVilliam Cuddon, Gent., the 
xxv day of December Anno Dni 1632." The following armorial bearings were formerly 
on a hatchment in Shacldingfield church. Quarterly, 1st and 4th; Cuddon, arg., a 
chev. gules, on a chief az. 3 bezants. 3rd and 4th; Newman, arg., a fess wavy gules, 
between 3 eagles displayed sab., impaling Berney of four coats. 1. Bemey, per pale 
az. and gules, a cross engrailed erm. 2. Reedham, gules, a chev. engrailed arg. 
between 3 reed-sheaves or. 3. Caston, gules, a chevron between 3 eagles displayed 
arg. 4. Brandiston, arg., on a canton gules, a cross or. 

Also on a second hatchment, quarterly, 1st and 4th. 

Harvey, gules, on a bend argent, 3 trefoils vert. 

2 sab., a boar's head couped argent. 

3 arg., 3 griffins' heads erased sab., impaling Berney. And on the seat 

belonging to Shaddingfield Hall, opposite to the pulpit, withinside were two shields 
painted on the panels; 1st, Cuddon, impaling Berney, single; and 2nd, gules, abend 
arg., impaling Berney. 9 Blomefield, in his History of Norfolk, tells us, that in the house 
of Francis Cuddon, Gent., at Mulbarton, in the tapestry hangings in the parlour were 
the anus of Cuddon, quartering Francis of Shaddingfield, Cuddon and Duke, Cuddon 
and Berney, Cuddon and Baynard, Jenney and Cuddon, Brampton and Cuddon, Kemp 
and Cuddon, Cuddon and Hall, Cuddon and Wren, quartering Lucy; Cuddon and 
Playters, Cuddon and Goldingham. 10 

On plain brass plates in Shaddingfield church are the following memorials : 

1. Mary Cuddon, the first wife of William Cuddon, Gent., of Shaddingfield, one of 
y* daughters and heirs of Geo. Harvye, of Olton, Esquier, died the xxij day of Novr., 1 5S6. 

2. Man", the wife of Francis Cuddon, Gent., one of y 6 daughters of Edward 
Boston, of Bumham Westgate, in Norfolk, Gent., died the Sth day of June, 1640. 

3. Anne Harvy, widdowe of George Harvy, of Olton, and sometime y e wife of Robt. 
Cuddon, of Shaddingfield, and one of y e daughters of John Barney, of Reedham, in 
Norfolk, Esq., died y 7th of Deer., 1618, aged S3. 

4. William Cuddon, who married one of y* daughters and coheiresses of George 
Harvy, of Olton, by whom he had issue two daughters. He afterwards married 

9 Jennvn MSS. " Blomefield. 


Elizabeth, one of the daughters of William Playters, of Sotterley, Esq., by whom he had 
six sonnes and five daughters, dyed 19th of Deer., 1634, set. 79. 

5. Robt. Cuddon, died the 4th of May, 1699, aged 55. 

The registers of Shaddingtield commence in 1538. 

The tithes and glebes of this parish were let under lease, in the year 1752, at 65. 
Mr. Hodgkinson, the present Rector, (1808,) now collects for tithes 280. The 
parsonage and glebes let at the annual rent of 11. n 

The parish contains 1369 acres, 1 rood, 39 perches, and is commuted at 311. 14,v. 
There are 7 acres, 2 roods, 11 perches, of glebes. 6. 14s. are paid to Lord Gosford 
and Dawsoii Turner, Esq., as impropriators. 

The population in 1841 was 177. 





Adam de Kcndale 


Thomas, Earl of Norfolk. 

Thomas dc Icnebv 



Symon dc Kendale . 



Adam de Eglcsfield . 



Richard de Langford 



Robert de Byker 


John de Segrave, Knt. 

John Besaunt 


Sir Walter Manny. 

Andrew Martvn 

John de Esterford 


Sir Walter Manny. 

Thomas Attcwelle 


Margaret, Countess of Norfolk. 

Robert Wauncy 



Thomas Atte Pond . 



Richard Grove de Bury 



Thomas Walsiugham 


The Crown, in right of the Manor of Framlingham 

Robert Samborn 


The Crown. 

Thomas Atte Ashe . 


The Bishop, by lapse. 

Richard Ilowys 



Robert Herpe . 


Katharine, Duchess of Norfolk. 

John Marshall 


The Bishop. 

John Carter 


Thomas Duke, Esq. 

Matthew Dorkey 


Elizabeth, Duchess of Norfolk. 

Nicholas Smeth 


The Bishop, by lapse. 

Thomas Wilmington 


The Queen. 

Francis Sharpen 

John Talbot . 


James, Earl of Suffolk. 

Isaac Colman . 


Charles Howard, Esq. 

11 Jerniyn MSS. ex informal. Jno. Julians, Churchwarden. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

William Robinson . . 1/32 Charles, Earl of Suffolk. 

Joseph Harris . . 1 733 Id. 

Joseph Sharjie . . 1/52 George, Earl of Bristol; John, Earl of Portsmouth, 

and Elizabeth his wife; William Whitwell,Esq., 
and the Hon. Ann Whitwell his wife ; and the 
Hon. John Griffin Griffin, Esq. 

John Hodgkinson . . 1805 Lord Braybrooke. 

Charles Thomas Scott . 1839 Id. 

Estimatio ecclie xviij marc. Portio Prioris dc Wangford in eadem i\". viij a . Synodalia per ann: ii'. 

Dcnarij S. Petri, v. ob. 12 

THE name of this parish was anciently written Scipmedu, and Schippe-meadowe, and 
its history is brief, but clear. Godwin held the manor under Roger Bigot : its value 
had been 3s. in Saxon times, which was raised by the Norman to 4s. In the twenty- 
fourth of Henry III., Walter de Shipmeadow was lord, 1 who conveyed by fine to Sir 
Ralph Bigot his right of fishing in the river Waveney between the towns of Stockton 
and Shipmeadow, and in the cutting of reeds and flags. In 1302, King Edward I. 
granted to Sir John de Norwich and his heirs, free-warren in all his demesne lands in 
Shipmeadow. The village afterwards became the manor of Walter de Norwich, who 
died in the third of Edward III., and left it to Sir John de Norwich, Knight, who 
procured another charter of free-warren for the said lands and estates in the thirty-first 
of Edward III. 2 He died in the thirty-sixth of the same reign, and left them to John 
his grandson. The manor of Shipmeadow was soon after transferred to the revenues of 
Mettingham College ; and was granted, upon the dissolution of that establishment, with 
other possessions in the neighbourhood, to the family of Denny. By an inquisitio post 
mortem, taken at Bury on the 16th of April, in the fourth of Edward VI., Sir Anthony 
Denny, Knight, was found to die on the 10th of September preceding, seized of the 
manor of Shipmeadow, held of the King in capite. 3 In the fifth of Elizabeth, Henry 
Denny occurs as lord of the manors of Bungay, Ilketshall, and Shipmeadow, then 
written ' Sheapmeadowe ; ' with license of alienation to Nicholas Bacon, who held the 
latter manor in the tenth, twenty-third, and thirty-second of the same reign. It soon 
afterwards passed by purchase into the family of Suckling, where it has ever since 

12 Norwich Domesday Book. ' Harl. MSS. 4626. 2 Harl. MSS. 3 Cole's Esch. vol. v. p. 57. 


The advowson of Shipmeadow was held by Walter de Shipmeadow in the year 
1239, 4 and was granted in 1268 to the nuns and convent of Flixton. Upon the dis- 
solution, the Duke of Norfolk had a grant of this advowson, who presented it to John 
Blennerhasset, Esq., of Barsham. The deed of gift states, after the usual preamble, 
that the said Duke presents the advowson of Shipmeadow to the said John Blennerhasset 
" in considerationem boni et fidelis servitii nobis impensi." What the good and faithful 
sen-ice had been is not expressed. The deed is dated A. D. 1562, and bears the great 
seal of the Duke of Norfolk in red wax. 5 

The advowson was purchased of the Blennerhasset family in the reign of James I. 
by Sir John Suckling, Knight. It was then stated, that " the liveinge of the p~sonage 
of Shipmcddowe was worth to the p~son 50ft>. p. ami." It remains in the patronage of 
Sir John's descendants. 


is a rectory, dedicated to Saint Bartholomew, and valued in the King's books at 10. 
It consists of a nave and chancel, without aisles : the former is covered with thatch, 
and the latter with slate. At the west end is a square tower of red brick and flints, 
erected, most probably, in the early part of the 16th century, as its solitary bell bears 
this inscription, IOIIN BREXD MADE ME. 1510. The church itself appears to have been 
built in the reign of Henry III., about the time when it was granted to the nuns of 
Rixton, as there is a lancet window in the north wall of the nave, the style of which 
accords well with that era. The beautiful window represented below is on the north 
side of the chancel, and may be referred to a date but little posterior. It is a relic, 

4 Harl. MSS. -1G26. 

5 L'arta penes auctorem. 


without doubt, of the architectural taste of the nuns of Flixton, and is the only 
embellishment deserving of notice in the whole fabric, which is otherwise mean, ill 
kept, and damp; and disfigured by modern barbarisms in no common degree. The 
west window throws its light into the nave through a good arch in the tower, and was, 
till a very late period, ornamented with stained glass. The writer has sketches of some 
rosettes of green glass, which have disappeared within these last few years. It may be 
fairly inquired in this place, how far the parochial guardians of this fabric have been 
really and truly wardens of its property and interests. The font now thrust into a 
corner, is of stone, the eight sides of which are carved with five rosettes and three 
shields : the latter are charged with a bend engrailed ; with the arms of Howard ; and 
the engrailed saltire of Tiptoft. It is probable that a branch of this ancient family 
possessed estates in this parish from the above circumstance ; scions of which would 
seem to exist in the vicinity under the somewhat modified name of Tiptod. This church 
had formerly a chapel dedicated to Saint Mary. Katherine Fastolf, widow of John 
Fastolf, late of Oulton, Esq., by her will, dated the 20th of Nov., 1478, leaves to the 
reparation of the church of Shipmeadow iij". viij rf . ; and also " to the chapel of ' Saint 
Marie de Shipmeadowe ' unum vestimentum viridum de Tarteyn ibm de serviend : in bte 
Marie Virginis." The parish of Shipmeadow contained in 1841, 265 inhabitants, 
including 133 inmates of the Wangford Union Workhouse, which is situated within its 
bounds. It comprises 799 acres, 2 roods, 15 perches of land, whereof 27 acres, 1 rood, 
2 perches, are glebe. Its tithes have been commuted at 228. 2s. per annum, exclusive 
of the rent of the glebe lands. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

John Olyver . . . 1300 Prioress and Convent of Flixton. 

William de Cranesford . 1308 Id. 

John de Cranesford . 1310 Id. 

John de Redenhall . . 1311 Id. 

Rad. de Barsham . . 1321 Id. 

Thomas de Stocten . . 1321 Id. 

William Lapyn . . 1323 Id. 

John de Pereehryg . . 1328 Id. 

JohnCalabre . . . 1341 Id. 

Galfridus Bate . . 1344 Id. 

John Aldeyth de S. Cove . 1349 Id. 

Adam Olle de Therston . 1361 Id. 

John Hogan de Prelliston . 1404 Id. 

John Lovett 1412 Id. 



Rectors. Date. 

Hugo Bunne de Lyng . 1416 

John Webster . . 1421 

John Exning . 

Thomas Dalyngho . . 1444 

Clement Methewey . . 1450 

John Brytby . . . 1453 

John Watyrman . . 1470 

William Bedingfeld . 

Thomas Laugh ton . . 1503 

Thomas Knyghton . . 1506 

John Cooke . . . 1555 

Richard Firbanke . . 1564 

George Whitlowe . . 1579 

Nicholas Lofte 1 584 

Thomas Tunstall . 1587 

Henry Xuthall 

John Feime . . . Hi 6 7 

Thomas Vesey . . 1670 

Edward Willan 1 686 

Charles Cook . 1688 

Nicholas Tayler 1 733 

Benjamin Frost . 1758 

Stephen Buckle 1/64 

John Thomas Suckling . 1797 

Roger Freston Ilowman . 1803 

Joseph Charles Badeley . 1833 


Prioress and Convent of Flixton. 


Bishop, by lapse. 

Prioress of Flixton. 




Bishop, by lapse. 

John Blennerhasset, and Marie his wife. 

Thomas Blennerhasset. 

The Queen, by lapse. 

Thomas Blennerhasset. 

Robert Suckling. 





Hannah Suckling. 

The King, on lunacy of Robert Suckling. 


Robert Suckling. 

Alfred Suckling. 

Estimatur ecclia ad XT marc: Synodalia per an: xij (l . Denarij S. Petri, x ob . 6 

"Died Feb. 18th, 1803, after an illness of only twenty-four hours, the Rev. John 
Suckling, Rector of Shipmeadow, and son of Robert Suckling, Esq., of Woodton Hall, 
Norfolk." 7 

In 1709, Francis Warmoll bequeathed by his last will 10*. per annum, to be paid 
to the poor of Shipmeadow out of his lands in Shipmeadow. 

6 Norwich Domesday Book. 

7 Gentleman's Magazine, vol. Ixxiii. p. 285. 


SOTTERLEY is, undoubtedly, the southern lea or pasture land of Saxon times, so called 
in relation to some more important locality, probably Beccles, from which it is distant 
about four miles. 

In Domesday Book it is written Soterlega, and was then the estate of Earl Hugh. 
Mundret held the parish as one manor under this powerful chieftain : it contained a 
church with seven acres of glebe, and appears to have been a flourishing village, rich in 
sheep, swine, and poultry. It was one leuca in length, and nine furlongs in breadth. 
In the reign of Henry III., Philip Bocland, already mentioned under Shaddingfield, 
obtained a license of free-warren in Sotterley, with liberty to hold a market and a fair. 1 
It very soon after became possessed by a family that assumed their surname from it, for 
in the year 1309 Roger de Sotcrle held this manor, with those of Stoke, Argh, and 
Wirrall, in the county of Chester, of the King, by the service of finding a horse 
furnished for the army for forty days, when employed against the Welsh. 2 Edmund de 
Soterle, his son, had free-warren in this parish, and held one knight's fee. In the list 
of towns and their lords made by order of King Edward II., in the ninth year of his 
reign, the Sheriff of Suffolk returns that Edmund de Soterle was lord of Soterle. 3 He 
paid the King 100s. for relief of his lands here, and in Cheshire, 4 and was Knight of the 
Shire for Suffolk in the fourth and sixth years of King Edward III. His arms were 
gules, a fess between 3 round buckles argent, the tongues pale- wise. In the seventeenth 
of the same King's reign, Roger de Soterle, his son, granted the manor of Uggcshall to 
the lady Joan, his mother, for life ; provided she claimed no dower in the manors of 
Sotterley, in Suffolk, and Stody, in Norfolk. 5 In 1380 it was returned that Edmund de 
Soterle held, at the day of his death, conjointly with Margaret his wife, the manor of 
Sotterley, with the advowson of the church ; and that Roger was his son and heir. 6 
Margaret Soterle enjoyed this property after the decease of her husband, whom she 
survived about four years ; for in 1384 it was returned that Margaret, widow of Edmund 
de Soterle, held at the day of her death this manor and advowson, of the King, as of his 
county of Chester, by the service of one knight's fee. 7 

Roger de Soterle, her son, held these estates by the same tenure, and purchased of 
Sir Ralph Bigod 11*. 6d. per annum rent, with the rent of 1500 herrings in Gisleham 
and Sotterley. 8 

1 Carta, 42 Hen. III. p. unica. m. 1 . 2 Harl. MSS. 708. 

3 Collect. Thos. Gybbon, Harl. MSS. 4 Harl. MSS., No 34, fol. 69. 5 Blomefield. 

6 Esch. 4 Ric. II. 7 Id. 8 Ric. II. 8 Blomefield. 

VOL. I. L 


In 1434 it was entered in the court books that " Johes Soterle aravit quandam 
divisionem inter terr: et ad prejudicium Dni." In 1459 one branch of this family 
became extinct in the male line; for in that year John Fisk, of Badingham, and 
Katharine his wife, daughter and heiress of John Soterle, son and heir of Edward 
Soterle, held in Sotterley one messuage and thirty acres of land. 9 

This was evidently a junior branch of this ancient stock, not only from the circum- 
stance that John Soterle had trespassed upon the lord's lands, but also from the fact that 
the manor and advowson remained with the Soterleys till about 1470, when, the 
representative being an adherent of the Red Rose, they were confiscated by the Duke of 
York, afterwards Edward IV., and bestowed on Thomas Playfair, or Playters, a partisan 
of his cause. The estate, however, could not have been bestowed on this gentleman for 
his valour at the battle of Barnet, as has been supposed, 10 because that decisive engage- 
ment was not fought till the 14th of April, 1471; and we find the armorial bearings of 
Playters still sparkling with their lustrous azure bendlets in a south window of the nave 
in Sotterley church, beneath which shield is placed the date of MCCCCLXX. ; whence 
it would appear that Thomas Playters then possessed the manor of the Soterleys, which 
is confirmed by the fact that he presented to the church in 1469. It is more likely that 
Edward IV., whose reign commenced on the 4th of March, in the year 1460, bestowed 
on Playters the patrimony of the adverse party soon after his accession, for services 
rendered in preceding struggles. 

Erom this period we hear no more of the family of Soterle. Driven out from the house 
of their fathers by domestic conflicts, when every man's hand was raised against his 
brother, they fell into poverty, and its consequent obscurity, and probably soon after 
became extinct. In 1477, Thomas Sotterle, Esq., was interred in the conventual church 
of the Austin Friars, at Norwich. He was possibly the unfortunate exiled Lancastrian. 

The descendants of Thomas Playters, the successful Yorkist, retained the manor and 
advowson of Sotterley till the year 1744, when John Playters, Esq., in the lifetime of 
his father, sold the paternal estate to Miles Barne, Esq., the son of a merchant in London, 
who pulled down the old hall, and built a beautiful seat on nearly the same site. The 
estate was then so covered with timber as to render it an objectionable purchase, so 
little was the value of forest trees at that time understood. A manuscript, formerly in 
the possession of Sir William John Playters, of Yelverton, in Norfolk, the last Baronet, 
relates that Mr. Barne felled sufficient timber to pay the purchase-money, and left 
Sotterley one of the best wooded estates in Suffolk. 

Thomas Playters, the Yorkist, died on the 21st of September, 1479. He married 
Anne, sister and hen-ess of Roger Dennys, of Tannington, in Suffolk, who died on the 

9 Jermyn MSS. ' Id. 

A T Suckhajf DeJt Fe 


Loudon, JoinWeale, 1845. 


10th of October in the same year. The portraiture of this stalwart warrior in complete 
armour, with the exception of his head-piece, and covered with the surcoat of his arms, 
is remaining in the east window of the chancel in Sotterley church. He is represented 
in a devotional attitude, with seven sons kneeling behind him. As this group occupies 
the central day, or division, of the window, it is not probable that the effigy of the wife 
with her daughters was ever placed with it. 

By an inquisitio post mortem, taken on the 19th of January, in the fifteenth of 
Queen Elizabeth, we learn that Thomas Playters held Sotterley of the Queen, as of her 
honour of Eastry: its annual value is stated to be 10. He also held the advowson. 
He died on the 19th of September, in the preceding year, and after providing a life 
interest for his widow Elizabeth, entails his manor of Sotterley, &c., on his son William ; 
then on Thomas, son and heir of the said William, and his lawful heirs ; remainder to 
the heirs male of the said William ; remainder to the heirs male of the said Thomas, 
father of William ; remainder to right heirs of the said Thomas. He further bequeaths 
to each of his younger sons, Thomas, John, and Henry, an annuity of 10, with power 
to distrain for arrears on his manor of Sotterley. 11 

From a like evidence, taken on the 20th of October, in the twenty-sixth of the same 
reign, William Playters, Esq., was found to die seized, inter alia, of the manors and 
advowsons of Sotterley, Uggeshall, and Ellough, and the reversion of the lordship of 
Brusyard. He died on the Gth of June in the previous year, and Thomas was found 
to be his son and heir, aged 18 years. In 1599, Thomas Playters, Esq., furnished one 
horseman to be conducted to London, for the defence of the court against secret 
purposes intended. 12 

In the third of James I., Thomas Playters occurs as High Sheriff for the county of 
Suffolk: his estate was then valued at 2000 per annum. 13 He is said to have been 
" a worthy Patriott, and the last Baronet created by James I." He had previously 
received the honour of knighthood at Newmarket : the patent for his baronetcy is dated 
August 13th, 1623. It is related of this gentleman that he was so wealthy, that he could 
ride from Beccles to Dunwich, a distance of 15 miles, upon his own landed property. 

In the sixteenth of Charles I., Sir William Playters was Member in Parliament for 
Orford, and Vice-Admiral of Suffolk. The loyal and gallant achievements of this 
gentleman and his son are recorded on a monument in the church at Dickleburgh, in 
the county of Norfolk, and are here transcribed. " Here under lyeth buried the body 
of Dame Frances Platers, the daughter and heir of Charles le Grys, of Billingford, in 
Norff., Esq. She married Sir William Playters, of Sotterley, in Suffolk, Knt. and 
Bart. ; sometimes one of the deputie Lieuetenants and Vice-Admir. of the said countie, 
and Justice of the Peace and Corarn ; and Coll. of a regiment of foot, till turn'd out of 

Harl. MSS. 12 Id. 13 Id. 


all by the then rebellious Parliament; and in fine out of that Hous of Parliament, 
whereof he had the misfortune to be a member. She had issue by him only Thomas, 
who married with Rebecka, the daughter and co-heir of Tho. Chapman, of Woormly, in 
the countie of Hartford, Esq., which said Sir Tho. was a great traveller before and after 
marriage, his ladie sometimes beyond the seas with him : a learned schollar ; an exact 
linguist, expert in all arts and knowledge ; of rare temper and courage ; and of great 
esteem in most courts in Christendom ; High Sheriff for the countie of Suffolk, by 
commission from his Majestic of blessed memory, a. 1G46, till forc'd by that fatal 
parliament to flee to the King at Oxford, where, by commission from his Majesty, he 
rais'd a regiment of Hors, wherewith he performed remarkable service, till his Majesties 
forces were totally ruin'd ; and then he departed the Kingdome, arriving in Cicilia, 
where, by commission from that Viceroy, he had command of a squadron of six shipps 
against all enemies to the crown of Spain, which being prepared, he put to sea, and 
performed many gallant services, much to the honour of the Spanish flagg. In July, 
1(55], he put into the port of Messina with a very rich prize, and posted to the court at 
Palermo, where he met with an honourable reception for the several good services he 
had performed ; but at 4 days end he there fell ill of a violent fever, whereof within 
^ (laves he died, aged about 35 years; and by the Princes ordir had an honourable 
interment, and much lamented there, but much greater cause at home, leaving no 
issue, but a sorrowful wid w and sad childless parents." 

Sir Lionel Playters, who succeeded this gallant gentleman in his honours and 
estates, was a clerk in holy orders, and Rector of Uggeshall and Sotterley. Walker, in 
his ' Sufferings of the Clergy,' has detailed the troubles he was subjected to by the rebels 
in the great rebellion of the 17th century. " His troubles began with the rebellion ; for 
in 104:2 they brake open his stable doors, plundered him of two very good horses ; and 
when lie had the confidence to demand by what authority they did it, they replied, 
' Pistol the Parson,' and fired two or more pistols at him. June 20th, 1644, articles 
were exhibited against him before the sequestrators, under the Earl of Manchester, the 
substance of which, as entered in the proceedings of those sequestrators, was his 
observing the rules and orders prescribed by the church ; preaching up submission to 
his Majesty ; inveighing earnestly against the rebellion ; refusing the covenant ; keeping 
company with one, who afterwards, as t'was reported, went to the cavalier popish army, 
and saying that he had a parcel of hemp to sell, and hoped it would bear a good price ; 
because, if the times continued, a great many would want hanging ; and that rather than 
fail, he would give it to the King to hang up the roundheads. The sentence of seques- 
tration pass'd upon him, if I mistake not, the same day that those articles were 
exhibited ; on the 24th of July following it was served upon him, when Mr. Playters, 
asking the sequestrators what time they would give him to remove his family, they 
answered him not an hour's time ; and accordingly, himself, his wife, and four children, 


were turned out of doors. The 30th of the same month, they entered on the parsonage 
barn, the tythe hay, and corn therein ; as likewise upon the glebe, (part of which was 
sown with barley, flax, pease, and other grain, with a crop of grass ready to be cut,) and 
upon all the tythe of the parish not then gathered in ; all which they seized into then- 
own hands, and converted to their own use for two years together, without ever giving 
any account, or paying Mr. Playters the fifths out of it ; but instead of that, they took 
care to levy the taxes of the months of May and June upon him, notwithstanding they 
had seiz'd almost the whole produce of that year, either in his barns, or in the fields. 
Besides which the poor gentleman had another misfortune befel him ; for having buried 
several of his children in the chancel, he hid in one of their graves, on prospect, without 
question, of those troubles which afterwards came upon him, about 200 pieces of gold, 
which these godly reformers, as they were tearing up the rails and levelling the chancel, 
happen'd to discover; and as zealous as they were against superstition and idolatry, 
made no conscience of committing a robbery very near ally'cl to sacrilege, carrying away 
every penny of it. He had likewise a temporal estate of about 200 a year, which they 
either put under sequestration, or what was as bad, forbid the tenants to pay the rent ; 
whereupon some of them quitted their farms ; and although by that means the estates 
lay untenanted for two years together, yet they compelled him to pay the taxes even of 
those unoccupied estates. About the year 1646, one Henry Younger succeeded in the 
living, but it pleased God that Mr. Playters lived to receive it of him again, on the 
restoration, and enjoy'd his living, as well as the title and estate of his family, for many 
years after, and constantly preached in his church till the day of his death. He was a 
person of a meek and peaceable temper, and of a regular conversation. I had almost 
omitted to say, that the sequestrators let several of the out-houses belonging to the 
parsonage fall quite down to the ground." " 

Upon the sale of the manor of Sotterley by John Playters, Esq., in 1744, an estate 
was purchased by him at Yelverton, in Norfolk, which remained in the family till its 
extinction in the person of Sir William John Playters, who died in 1832. 

On Wednesday, February the 27th, 1833, at a levee held at the Palace of Saint 
James, Lieut. G. C. Degen Lewis, Roy. Eng., was presented as heir-at-law to the late 
Sir William John Playters, of Yelverton, who was the last Baronet of the ancient family 
of the Playters of Sotterley, in Suffolk. 

Lady Anne Playters, widow of Sir William John Playters, abovesaid, died in London, 
aged 60, on the 12th of May, 1845. 

The following pedigree of this family is extracted from the Harleian Manuscripts 
(No. 1560) preserved in the British Museum; the later descents being supplied from 
the private papers of the last Baronet. 

14 Walker's 'Sufferings of the Clergy,' pp. 334, 335. 



Thomas Playters, Arm., son of 

Thomas I'layters, of Thorndon, 

obt. 2'l Sept. 1479, 

buried at Sotterley. 

Anne, sister & heir", of 

Roger Dennys, of Tannington, 

obt. Oct. 10, 1479. 

William I'layters, 
obt. 1512. 

Jane, d r . of Sir 

Edniond Jenny, 

of Knodishall. 




Tho. Playters. Rob'. George. Edward. Agnes. 

Dorothy, d'. of 

\V m . A^lack, 

1. wife. 



of Sotterley, 

obt. 1547'. 

Anne Reade, 

of Bcccles, 

2. wife. 


Mary Playters, 
ux. John Tyl- 

ney, of Wit- 
ford, Norf. 

Anne, ux. 



Margery, ux. 
Rich d . Clop- 
ton, of Long 


1 William. 

2 Robert. 

3 George. 

4 Edward. 


obt. 1572. 

Thomasin, d r . 

of George 

Duke, of 


1. wife. 

of Tho'. 
of Ru'sh- 

Ill I I 

John P. Jane P. Eliz. 

Francis P. ux. Geo. ux 

Frances P. llarvy, Gage, 
obt. infants. of 



ux. John 


Anne, ux. 


Gab. Kent, 
2. ux. 







I I I I I I 

1 Thomasin. 

2 William. 

3 Christopher. 

4 Augustin. 

5 Francis. 

6 Henry. 


obt.' 1584. 

Eliz. d r . of 

2. wife." 


obt! S.P. 

Susan P. 



of York. 

1. wife. 


Sir Thomas 

Playters, Knt. 

& Bart., 

obt. 1638. 

Thomasin, d r . 
of Edmond 
Tirrcll, of 
Beeches, Es- 
sex, 3. wife. 

2. wife. 

Mary, d r . 

& h". of 



4. wife. 

Tho s . 


George. Henry. 
4 5" 


Drake W. 
li r . to his 

Cath e ., d r . 
of Sir 


Will 1 "., 

ux. Ant. 

Sir William 

Plavters, = 

= Frances Rev. Sir Lionel Playters, = Eliz". Warner, Talmache 


B'., obt. 


le Grice. Rector of Sotterlev and of Brandon, Playters. 


Uggeshall, obt. 1679. Norf. 

1 | 
Thomas = Rebecca, d r . Jane Read, = Sir John == Isabell Lionel Play- =: 



of Tho'. 

of Bardwell, Plavters, obt. 

Hall, ters, Esq., 


died at 


1. wife. S.P. 1721, 

2. wife. obt. 1699, 


Palermo, S.P. 

act. 86. 

St. 56. 


A son and daughter, 
obt. infants. 


Sir John 7- 
B'., obt. 

Eliz th . d r . of 
John Felton, 

Esq., of 

obt. S.P. 




Anna Carolina 
Turner, 1. wife. 



Sir John Playters, 

B'., an officer in the 

army, obt. S. P. 

= John Playters, Esq., only son, died 
in his father's lifetime. Sold Sot- 
terley : obt. 1 759. Gentleman 
Usher to King Geo. II. 

Robert Playters, 
obt. S.P. 1743. 

Lionel Playters, 
obt. S.P. 

Sir Charles 

Playters, B 1 ., 

obt. 1806, S.P. 

d'. & coheir". Thomas, Carolina 
of Dr. obt. S.P. = John Norris, 

Gould. of Witton, 


= Eliz" 1 ., d r . of Joshua 
Lewis, of G'. Farring- 
don, Berks. 

Joshua Sir William John 
Playters, Playters, B'., obt. 
obt. S.P. 1832, S.P. 

' Anne, 

obt. 1845. 


In Cole's MSS., vol. xxxv., 15 is an indenture dated at Sotterley, on All Saints Day, 
anno 1390, by which Sir William Argenthem, Knight ; Adam, parson of the church of 
Brampton ; Richard de Mikilfield, John Leche, and Richard Candeler, of Beccles, demise 
to farm for the term of her life, to Alice, late wife of Walter Skorle, of Sotterley, all 
lands, &c., lately belonging to Richard Reymond, of Willingham, in Sotterle and 
Henstead, which they (Sir William Argenthem, Adam, &c.) held by deed and feoffment 
of Richard, son of William Reymond, of Soterle. 

The Berney family also held estates here; for in 1551, John Berney, of Sotterley, 
Esq., presented to Bradeston, in Norfolk. 16 

Manerium de Soterle: Bailiff's account, 1610. s. d. 

Reddit assis : lib : tenent :.......... suma 28 6' 

Reddit assis : nat : tenent : ......... suma 39 .5 

Reddit mobil : lib : tenent : . . . suma 4 dies autumpnal : 1 1 1 gall : 200 halec : rubri : 
Reddit mobil : nat : tenent : ........ 2 dies at falcand : 

Ferinaterr: . . . 531 17 

et duo casson : 
Perquis : curise . . . . . . . . . . . .531 

Vendic : boscor ..'........... xxx 

Reddit resolut : Johi Rouse, Milit:, ut debit mno suo de Raydon . . . . 3 'I 

Reddit resolut : Ballio Hundr : de Waingford. 17 ....... 'A 3 

Upon the inclosure of the parish in 1796, the following was the state of the 

Proprietors. Acres, r. p. Acres, r. p. 

Miles Barne, Esq., possessed . . . 1085 8 Allotted C8 2 15 

William Crisp 9 2 31 

Glebe 24 38 2 Hi 

- Kilner, Esq 43 3 18 

Poor of Sotterley 36 5 2 H 

Mary Sayer 205 03 32 

Robert Sparrow, Esq 1/2 10 9 20 

George Watson, Esq 99 2 37 8 33 

Private property . 1436 3 23 94 2 4 


Acres, r. p. 

Private property ....... 1436 3 23 

Waste lands allotted 94 2 4 

Old roads 19 3 26 

New roads . . ..210 

Total . . 1553 2 13 

15 Brit. Mus. 1B Blomefield. " Jermyn MSS. 18 Id. from a book pen. Rev. W. Barlee, 1815. 


The following is the result of a new mensuration made in conformity with the Tithe 
Commutation Act. 

Acres, r. p. 

Public roads 17 37 

Glebe 16 2 9 

Church-yard 1 17 

Total number of acres in the parish .... 1576 

The amount of rent-charge in lieu of tithes was fixed at 295. The population was 
returned in 1841 at 223, which exhibits a very considerable decrease from the census 
of 1811, when the parish contained 355 souls, as recorded in the register books. The 
Rectory-house is a moderately sized modern building, occupying the site of the older 
manse, which appears to have been of considerable antiquity ; for on a piece of oak 
which formed the mantel-beam in the kitchen of the old rectory, and now built into the 
wall of the new residence, is the date of " A. D. 1587." 

A picture of the old Hall at Sotterley is preserved in one of the farm-houses there. 
It does not appear to have been an extensive pile, neither does its architectural elegance 
establish, in the remotest degree, the claim which it prefers of having been erected by 
Inigo Jones : it was, as usual with most old houses in Suffolk, built of red brick. 


at Sotterley is rendered particularly interesting by the numerous monumental records it 
contains of its former patrons ; and although it has not altogether escaped the hands of 
the despoiler, appears to have sxifi'ered less than the generality of our sacred edifices. 

It is a plain unpretending edifice, comprising a nave and chancel without aisles, 
and having a square tower at the west end of very unusual shape and proportions ; 
and to which I ascribe considerable antiquity, notwithstanding that it presents no 
positive feature of early architecture. The chancel is covered internally with a 
wainscot ceiling of no great antiquity, divided into panels, and painted green ; but 
the ceiling of the nave, and the screen between the body of the church and the 
chancel, appear to have been erected by the Soterleys, whose arms are on a corbel of 
the roof, and occupy an escutcheon placed over the central arch of the latter. The 
ignorance or caprice of some modem painter has rendered these, with their impalement, 
a jumble of heraldic errors. The font is octangular, ornamented with shields in its 
compartments charged with the symbols of the Trinity, and the Passion of our Lord : 
but the most curious details in the edifice are the corbels, some of which represent 
demi-angels playing on violins and bag-pipes. Besides the stained glass in the east 
window already described, a few shields and fragments remain in the other lights, 


which attest how profusely Sotterley church was ornamented in olden days with this 
beautiful but fragile enrichment. In the east window of the north side was formerly 
an Agnus Dei; and in the western window, on the south side, another; while the 
story of Sisera and Jael ; the mocking, and scourging of our Saviour his head crowned 
with a tiara ; and a device of a mounted warrior before a walled town, with the 
following shields of arms, all blended their glorious colours in rich harmonious tints. 

1 . Az., a chev. or, between 3 cinquefoils arg., on a chief ermine 3 pales gules ; with the date of 1541 . 

2. Gules, a chev. between 3 cinquefoils or ; impaling gules, a cross or, between 12 martlets arg. 

3. Quarterly, 1 and 4. Barry of eight ...... and or; in a bordurc ...... 

2 and 3. An eagle, or phoenix, rising on a mount. On an inescutcheon, ....... per 

fess ..... and or, six roundlets counterchanged. 

The two former of these shields yet remain, with those of Playters and Barne, 
bearing, respectively, the dates of 1-170, and 1741. 

Will. Dowsing thus records his iconoclastic visit to this church. " Saterley, April 
6th, 1043. There were divers superstitious pictures painted, which they promised 
to take down, and I gave order to level the steps, and to break in pieces the rails, 
which I have seen done ; and to take off a cross on the church." Notwithstanding 
these orders, the communion table is raised on three very high steps ; so that, possibly, 
Dowsing's directions were never fulfilled. Within the communion rails lies a large 
stone, inlaid with the effigies of Thomas Playters, the Yorkist, and Anne Deniivs, his 
wife : he in a splendid suit of armour, with a broad-sword of such formidable di- 
mensions as might well befit the ' faber fortunsc suae;' she, habited in a dress 
unseemly low, with a rich collar or necklace, and the fantastic head-dress then in 
fashion. The inscription at their feet is now partly lost, but is here supplied from 
Weever's 'Ancient Funeral Monuments.' 

<rate pro alabs; Cftome $Iat?ttr 3nnigm mijp Ijufusf mtosfie pntrom, 
et flnne ujr ct'ud et stororte &ogm' 23*nap0 imp lit Otiwgton Slrmigm, 
qut^ quftam Cftomasf olwt xxi tote menafe >ep r . 3 MCCCCLXXIX. ft 
p&ea Sana otmt x Jjfe <etobr ej: time prov seqtient. quor at'afcs ppfriet 

These effigies are represented in the accompanying engraving by the figures 1 and 2. 

Adjoining this stone, but not following in strict chronological order, lies the brass 
(No. 3) of Thomasin, daughter of Edmund Tirrell, and third wife of William Playters, 
Esq., with that of an infant daughter. The partial injury the larger figure has 
sustained does not prevent us from observing the very handsome dress in which she 
is clothed. The following inscription is placed beneath her : 

VOL. I. M 


$ere Ipetb bttrpea Cbomaie late topfe unto aaapHm papters of >otterlaj> 
esqttier, one of tbe oatogbters & cobepers unto Comuna Cprrell of Betcbes 
in tbe county of esser esquier, tobo baa psstte bp tbe sfapae SUpIIm, 
&>u0an }3lapters, ana apea tbe viij oape of JMape & lint 1578, on tobose 
soule Siesus babe mep. 33epng of tbe age of xxxiiij peares. 

At the head of the female figure is a large escutcheon, thus charged : Quarterly, 
1st and 4th quarterly. 1st. Playters. 2. Denny, arg., a chev. sab. between 3 mullets 
of six points gules, pierced or. 3. Bridgenorth, vert, a lion ramp, arg., crowned or. 
and 3. Aslack of eight coats. 1. Aslack, sab. a chcv. crrn. between 3 Catharine 
wheels arg. '2. Berry, arg., a chev. between 3 bears' heads couped sab. 3. Banyard, 

sab. a less between 2 chevronels or. 4 arg., on a fess azure, 2 ducal coronets 

or. .">. Bardolph, a/., a fleur-de-lis between 3 cinquefoils or. 6. Charier, erm. on 

a chit't' gules, 3 lo/eiiges arg., each charged with an annulet sable. 7 arg., on 

a chev. gul. 3 fleur-de-lis or. b. Aslack: impaling Tirrell of four coats. 1. Tirrell, 
arg., :2 chev. a/., within a bordurc engr. gules. 2. Swinford, paly of six sab. and arg. 
3. r'lambert, or, on a chev. arg., 3 dolphins embowed sable. 4. Coggeshall, arg., a 
cross between tour escallops sable. 

I pon a large stone, inlaid with the anus of Playters impaling the eight coats of 
Aslack as before, but twice repeated, is the following inscription. 

Jlnoer tl)i$ stone Ipetft bunrti tbe bofope of ^Itlltam ^plapterss esfquier, 
trrli) patrone of tbt's! eburebe, tobo ball four lupbes!, bn, Cbomawt, tiatigftter 
of George Duhr of jffrennesf esfquier, bp lubom be baU issue one sionne, 
tub irb oteli lut'tbotit teistte. Iuabetb, iJautjbter of Cbomas Cpmplep of 
?)entplbain esqut'er, bp lubom be baU isisstte tluo oaugjl)ter6 anU one eionne, 
Cbomau-n, one of tbe oaugbters ana betresi of bmuno Ctrrell of 3Beebes 
in tbe rountpe of 5s>e)f esfqtiier, bp Iwbom be baa issue one aaugbter. 
iBarp, aaugbter of 2UIlia Qrafee of Sarolep in tbe county of ^orff 
esqttier, bp tobome be baa issue one aautjbter ttoo sonnes, ana apea 
tbe sft'rtt aap of Suite, in tbe pere of our Sortie 600 MCCCCCLXXX four, 

Just without the altar rails, and attached to the north wall of the chancel, is an 
altar-tomb of stone, covering the remains of William, son of Thomas Playters and 
Anne Dennys. On the sides of the tomb were two small effigies in brass, representing 
this gentleman and his wife, Ann Jenny, in devotional attitudes. The figure of the 
man has been removed within the last few years, but the female effigy remains. The 
tomb bears, on its sides, four shields thus charged : 


1. Play ters impaling Denny s. 

2. Play ters quartered with Denny s and Bridgenorth. 

3. Playters quartered as above, impaling, quarterly, 1st and 4th, Jenny, erm., abend gules, cotised or. ; 

2nd and 3rd, Leiston, vert, 3 dexter hands or gloves arg., on them 3 falcons or. 

4. Playters impaling Park, az., an eagle displayed arg. 

Round the chamfered edge of the tomb is a fillet of brass, with this legend. 

??ere lietft buriefc tbe bofcie of OTIItam $Hapters esqnier, sonne anfo ft? ire 
of Cftomas anli Sim bis toife, tofto married Um, fcaugbter to &ti oinono 
3ennp of lutotsfoall, limijbt, bj> toftom be foao issue pofer ano others, ana 
oiefc tfte xi &ap of fiouember anno oomini 1512. 

At the foot of this tomb lies the effigy of Christopher Playters, the eldest son of the 
above personages ; a sturdy figure clad in a suit of plain armour, with this inscription at 
his feet. (No. 4.) 

Ipetb buried tbe boap of Cftristopber $Iapters sq r , Mjo ball ttuo 
Uorotbtf, one of y* oaugbters cs: foet'res of 2,2;H)II aigflacfe of 
Carrolu Csq r , bp Uiljom Ije ftaft tsfsfue Cbomas, ^ bp Jinn, oaugb 1 to 2UtII 
iKeali of Merles esq Ije I)aD 5 sonnes anti i IiaugJ) : i)f oico upon p c xx oap 
of 9(ug: an: 1547. 

Although Christopher Playters died on the day above mentioned, it appears from 
the parish registers that he was not buried till the 27th of September following; more 
than five weeks after his decease. The reason for this unusual postponement of his 
funeral rites is not recorded. 

The next brass (No. 5) is the portraiture of this gentleman's eldest son and heir, 
Thomas, who died in 1575. When we consider that twenty-eight years only had 
elapsed between the death of the latter gentleman and his father, the alteration in 
the costume appears very remarkable. The smooth chin, and plain effective armour 
of the father, are strikingly contrasted by the thick mustaches, curly beard, and heavy 
cumbrous panoply of the son, whose square-toed shoes and clumsy figure give an 
unfavourable specimen of a gentleman of the courtly reign of the " Virgine Queene." 
The legend attached to this brass is as follows : 

tin's stone Ipetfte burieli tfte bofcpe of C&oma* papters of 
g>otterlep, Csiquier, patron of t&i* manor, tobo IjaU isstte bp einabetl) 
fcfe topff, one of tfte fcaugbters of nr Cfoomas German of Eusbebrofee in 
tfte rountte of >uff. Unpgbt, sire sonnes anti sire fcaugbters, & fcpefc tbe 
ix Kape of September Snno JBomtnt 1572. 


At the foot of the figure are the arms of Playters, impaling Jermyn of Rushbrook, 
sab., a crescent between 2 mullets palewise arg., pierced of the field. 

The last brass which remains to be noticed in this interesting church is the most 
ancient of them all (No. 6), and in the absence of its inscription and armorial bearings, 
conjecture must supply the appropriation. From the form of the armour it cannot be 
referred to a period much subsequent to 1420 or 1430, and may possibly cover one of 
the last of the Soterles. It is not impossible, however, that it may have been intended 
to commemorate Sir Robert de Tye, who died on the 8th of October, 1415, and was 
Imried in the church of Sotterley. 19 

Against the north wall of the chancel is a huge and costly monument of marble 
erected to the memory of Sir Thomas Playters, Knight and Baronet, who died on the 
l^tli of May, anno Domini 1638, aged 73 years. In the central compartment is seen 
the kneeling effigy of Sir Thomas; and in side compartments those of his two wives; 
by the first of whom, Anne, eldest daughter of Sir William Swann, of Sonthfleet, in 
Kent, he had two sons and two daughters. His second wife was Anne, only daughter and 
heiress of Sir Anthony Browne, of Elsing, in Norfolk, who brought him eight sons and 
ten daughters. This numerous family of two-and-twenty quaintly termed 'diverse 
children,' are represented on a lower compartment of the monument, kneeling before 
a faldstool. In point of cost, this sepulchral memorial is commensurate with the noble 
estate of the deceased, which has already been mentioned ; but as a work of art it is 
unworthy of critical notice. 

There are also monumental records of Sir Lionel Playters, Bart., Rector of Sotterley, 
whose sufferings during the rebellion in King Charles's time are related in a previous 
page, and who died in 1079 ; of John Playters, Gent., who died in 1609 ; of Lionel 
Playters, Esq., who died in 1(599; and of Jane, the first wife of Sir John Playters, 
Hart., and daughter of Thomas Read, Esq., who died in November, 1G65. 

The very ancient family of Bumpstede, who bore argent, on a bend engrail, gules 8 
mullets of the field, flourished for many generations in Sotterley and its neighbourhood. 
In 1298, Peter de Bumpstede was one of the bailiffs of Norwich. 20 In 1479, Robert 
Bumpstede, of Willingham St. Mary, by his will, dated on the 30th of March in that 
year, "legal corpus suum ad sepeliend: in cancello See Margaret de Soterle, in introitu 
chori." The following members of this family were also interred here : 

John Bumpstede, who dyed the vij of April], in anno MCCCCLXXIX. 

Alex. Bompstead, late wyef of William Bompstead. 

rate p. aia ftobrrtt Eompstralr generost, gut obtit xv trie mtnste Sjprflft 
anno Sm M.CCCGLXXXij. 

19 Hervey's Collection of Funeral Monuments. M Blomefield. 





J C 






Hervey has recorded this inscription, now lost. 

jloniSteiir <uter toe SU^Ipngton, tt 23ame $atoes sa femme, 

There are monuments to the memory of the Barne family, the present lords of 
Sotterley, who have a vault under the west end of the church. Against the south wall 
of the chancel is a slab of white marble for Miles Barne, Esq. 

" ex ea domo prognati, quse labente sseculo xvi' 

Duos Londiniis Pruetorcs 

exemplo rarissimo protulit : 

quseque matcrnum genus ab Eduino 

Sandys, Arcliiepiscopo Eboraccnsi, dnxit." 

Arms, Barne with Elwick, arg. on a chcv. az. 3 fleurs-de-lis or ; and Thornhill, gules, 
4 bars and a chief argent. 

There is also a monument to the Rev. Thomas Barne, instituted Rector of Sotterley 
in 1790. 

Against the north wall of the chancel are the matches of the Playters' family 
emblazoned on wood, most of which are decayed by time and damp. In addition to 
the splendid shields already noticed, may still be discerned Playters impaling Le Grice, 
quarterly, az. and gules, on a bend arg. 3 boars pass, sable, with eleven coats ; and 
also Playters impaling Browne of sixteen coats, viz. 

1. Browne, sab. 3 lioncels pass, in bend, between 2 double cotises nrg. 

2. Fitznlliin, gules, a lion ramp. or. 
3 sable, a fret or. 

4 gul. a saltire and a chief arg. 

5. Montacute, arg. 3 fusils in fess gules. 

6. Montlicrnier, or, an eagle displayed vert. 

7. Plantagenet, gul. 3 lions, pass, guard, in pale, or. 

8. Nevill, gul. a saltire arg. 

9. Ingoldesthorpe, gules, a cross engrailed arg. 

10. Bradston, arg., on a canton gul. a rose or. 

1 1. Charlton, Lord Powis, or, a lion ramp, gules. 

12. De la Pole, az., a fess between 3 leopards' faces or. 

13. Burgh, arg., a fess dauncette gules, charged with 3 bezants. 

14. Hastings, or, a maunch sable. 

15. Valance, Barry arg. and azure, an orle of martlets gules. 

16. Browne. 

The church of Sotterley is a rectory, dedicated to St. Margaret ; and its oldest bell 
is inscribed with a legend to that female saint. 

>ancta jHargareta ora pro nobfe. 

The registers commence in 1547. 


Miles Barne, D.D., son of Miles Barne, Rector of Bishopsbourne cum Barham, in 
the county of Kent, was fellow of Peter House, in Cambridge, and chaplain to King 
Charles II. He was entered at Peter House, as a sizer, on the 27th of June, 1656, 
from Westminster School, being then seventeen years of age. Lie afterwards obtained 
a scholarship in his college, and appears among the list of Questionists there in 1659. 
He took his degree of A. B. in 1659; M. A. 1663; was admitted a fellow of his 
college on the 2nd of December, 1662, and proceeded D.D. in 1682. In 1688, upon 
the accession of the Prince of Orange, he threw up his fellowship; and his name does 
not occur in the college books, or among the list of its members, after March in that 
year. Dr. Barne was the author of three sermons preached before the University; 
two of which were printed at Cambridge in 16S2, and the third in the following 
\ car, at London. This was preached " on the ninth of September, being the day of 
publick thanksgiving for the deliverance of his Majesties sacred person, his Royal 
Brother, and the Government, from the late hellish Fanatick Conspiracy." It is, as may 
lie presumed from its title, a strong political discourse, abundantly interlarded with Latin 
quotations, and levelled alike against "popish plot" and "fanatick conspiracy." It 
ghcs, however, the authorities of the day this sensible advice: "since w T e are plac'd 
between two extreams, common prudence bids us have a watchful eye over both, and 
not to give a palpable advantage to the one, by applying all our force against the 

Dr. Barne died at Kingham, in Oxfordshire, about the year 1709, and was buried 

Sotterley Hall is a large and excellent mansion, and stands near the church, in the 
centre of a park of nearly 500 acres, finely diversified with ancient timber and thriving 
modern plantations. 

The manor of Benacre pays 4. 16-s. to the poor of this parish annually, under a 
charge devised in 1616, by Thomas Jolly; which amount is expended, together with 9 
arising from a piece of land called the poors' allotment, in donations of coals, &c., about 
Christmas time. A double tenement is also occupied by poor families belonging to 
Sotterley, rent free. 



WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR held an estate in Western which had formed part of the 
possessions of Archbishop Stigand, valued at two shillings ; with a church and twenty 
acres of glebe, worth three shillings. 1 Hugo de Montford, Roger Bigot, and Gois- 
fridus de Mandeville, had also small estates here. 2 

Henry I. granted a manor which extended over this parish, and part of Beccles, to 
William de Luvell, from whom it was called Soka Luvelli. William de Luvell sold it 
to William de Longo Campo, at that time Chancellor of England, who gave it to 
Henry his son, who bestowed it, as a marriage portion, on his daughter, the wife 
of Robert Gresle, who held it when the Record called Testa de Nevill was compiled. 3 
By what tenure this ' Soke,' or power of administering justice and executing the 
laws of the land within its limits, was held, is not recorded. 

In 12(>G, Walter de Redesham held the lordship of Weston, and obtained a charter 
of free- warren from the Crown. 4 

In 12SO it formed part of the extensive estates of Hugo dc Berry. 5 In the fifth of 
Edward II., Walter de Norwich had a charter of free-warren in his lands in Weston, 
but he does not appear to have held the lordship. 6 

From the family of De Redesham the manor of Weston passed to William de 
Barshain, and from him, by purchase, to the family of Garneys ; for William Garneys, of 
Stockton, by his will, dated Feb. 13th, 1420, and proved on the (5th of April, 1425, 
leaves to Elizabeth his widow, his manor of Weston, and all his estates in the Hundred 
of Wangford, which his father had bought of William de Barsham, &c., for the term 
of her life ; on condition that she maintain Ralph and Robert, his sons, to full age, and 
does not re-marry : then the feoffees are to enfeoff Robert his son in the manor of 
Weston, for himself and the heirs of his body ; and in default of issue, to Ralph his 
son, &c. 

Upon the death of Ralph Garneys, who died about 1450 without issue, the manor 
of Weston became the property of Peter Garneys, of Beccles, his uncle, who, by his 
will, dated August 20th, 1450, and proved on the 5th of February in the year following, 
leaves his manor of Weston, &c., to feoffees to enfeoff his son Thomas in the same, after 
his decease, according to the will of William Garneys, his brother. By the exem- 

1 Domesday Book, Terra Regis. a Id. 3 Testa de Nevill, p. 295. 

4 Cal. Rot. Cart. p. 94. 5 Mag. Brit. 6 Cal. Rot. Cart. p. 145. 

VOL. I. N 


plification of a recovery in the twenty-seventh of Henry VIII., it appears that Robert 
Garneys held the manor of Weston, juxta Beccles, with its appurtenances, and ten 
messuages, eight tofts, five hundred acres of plough-land, sixty acres of meadow, 
five hundred of pasture, and two of wood, with 4 rent in Weston, Renting, 
Debenham, Beccles, Elowe, Wurlingham, and Shanfield. 7 

Thomas Garneys, Esq., died on the 20th of October, 1566, seized, inter alia, 
of the manor of Weston, held of Sir Thomas Gresham and Ann his wife, as of their 
manor of Beccles, late parcel of the possessions of Bury Abbey, in socage, by fealty, and 
ten shillings rent, valued at five marks per annum. 8 

The manor has since passed into the hands of Lord Roseberry, of whom it was 
purchased by Thomas Farr, Esq., of Beccles, who is the present lord. 

The manor-house, called Walpole Hall, is a mere fragment of a very old mansion. 
In the south wall of what seems to have been a chapel, though only about sixteen feet 
long, is a recess, very like a fenestella, retaining a portion of an old shelf of oak. The 
courts for the manor are held here, and adjourned to some more convenient place. 

Bartholomew Kemp, of Gissing, in the twenty-third of Henry VIII. sells to Thomas 
Godsalve, Esq., all his messuages, lands, tenements, and hereditaments in the town of 
Weston, next Beccles, in Suffolk. 9 

Woston Hall, a handsome habitable mansion, was in great part demolished about 
twenty years ago, and the projecting angle of the southern facade converted into a 
farm-house. It was a good, well-proportioned building, with notched gables and 
pedimented windows, but deficient in the elegant and decorated finials so frequent 
in old Elizabethan mansions. It was erected in the latter part of the sixteenth century 
by John Rede, Esq., who possessed a good estate in the village, which passed, by sale, 
to the family of Barry, and is now, by a like transfer, held by the Barnes of Sotterley. 

Weston Hall or that fragment of it which retains the name stands near the high 
road, which formerly passed close to its door, in a sloping pleasant meadow, still 
environed by a few old trees, and commanding a view of the church, and of a rising 
knoll of ground to the south-east. On this eminence is placed a small but curious 
edifice of red brick, built in a style of architecture prevalent in the time of Charles II., 
and marking the taste of Thomas Rede, Esq., whose initials remain on its western front. 
The interior of this fanciful little dwelling is finished rather expensively with moulded 
cornices and wrought ceilings ; and though still two stories high, was originally much 
loftier. It is said to have been erected for a summer-house, as its upper floor com- 
manded a view of the German Ocean, but tradition relates that it was early converted 
to a purpose far less innocent. 

7 Jermyn MSS. Esch. 9 Eliz., Harl. MSS. 9 Harl. MSS., Gibbon's Collect. 


Weston contains 1550 acres of land, the tithes of which have been commuted 
at 350 per annum. There are only two acres and twenty-nine perches of glebe, and 
no rectory-house. The population in 1841 was 211 souls. 


at Weston, which is a rectory dedicated to Saint Peter, and had formerly a celebrated 
image of our Lady, consists of a nave and chancel of very lofty proportions, with a 
square tower, open to the body of the church by a tine pointed arch. The tower 
contains three bells, on which are these inscriptions in the old Longobardic character. 

1. gnterrrtrc $7e \Mn pro me, 

2. Domtmtsf s(tt atyutor nwtsf, 

3. jflMsfefus tero jpie (Babrifl ftrt Irta i 

The whole fabric is in a wretched state of repair and neglect, vividly contrasted by 
the remains of ancient taste and munificence exhibited in its oaken ceiling, its richly 
carved benches, and splendid font. The latter ornament is composed of the finest 
stone, and is six feet one inch in height from the ground. Its form is octangular ; but 
as seven of its sides were sculptured with representations of the Romish sacraments, 
the carved work has been sadly mutilated. The foliated tracery of the south windows 
sustained some shields of painted glass, in the writer's memory, which have now 
disappeared : of these, the arms of Garneys with a plain chevron, and or, a chevron 
gules between 3 pheons sable, were most conspicuous. Had these been broken by 
accident or wantonness, some fragments would have remained ; but as every tint has 
vanished, the inference is that they have been stolen by the glaziers employed in repairing 
the glass or lead-work. I fear country churchwardens have much to answer for 
throughout the kingdom, in permitting similar depredations to pass unnoticed. Surely 
these officers have never considered the meaning of the word ' warden.' 

William Garneys, of Stockton, Esq., by will, dated the 13th of February, 1420, leaves 
to the high altar of the church of Weston juxta Beccles iij*. iiij 1 '., and to the building of 
the bell-tower xij d . 

Walker, in his ' Sufferings of the Clergy,' 10 says that Gilpen, Rector of Weston, 
was ejected, " of whom I do not know any thing further." His name, however, does 
not occur in the list of incumbents preserved in the Bishop's office at Norwich. Possibly 
he held some other preferment of this name. 

10 Part ii. p. 256. 


Monuments. 1. Thomas Rede, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Gawdy, 
Knt., Justice of the King's Bench, died Sept. 2, 1622. 

2. Thomas Rede, died 19th of Sept., 1681, aged 68. 

3. Henry Rede, died 17th of Feb., 1655. 

4. John Rede, of Weston, was buried the 6th of March, 1605. 
ij. Thomas Garneis, Esq., died Oct. 25, 1701, aged 60. 

(i. John Thacker, died Jan. 13th, 1667. 

7. Abigail, wife of Richard Twiss, Gent., died 18 Dec., 1723. She was daughter 
of Mr. Robt. Bernard, merchant, of Yarmouth, and a woman of most exemplary goodness 
and charity. 

The registers commence in 1709 : they contain the following rather curious entry. 

"Edmund, sou of Thomas Rede, jun., Esq., and Anne his wife, buried 19th of 
August, 1712, and the bones of a daughter of theirs named Martha were removed from 
Heckles the same day." 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

John de la Mere . . 1280 The Crown. 

Thomas tie Wimundham . 1281 U. 

John de Merton . . 1304 Id. 

Henry de Livanseye . . 1311 Id. 

Richard de Bartone . . 1327 Id. 

John Dairy . . 1330 Id. 

Nicholas de Bevcrley . 1332 Id. 

William Mngge . 1349 Id. 

John de Bellerby . . . 134!) Id. 

Will: fil Joes del Hall de Shipedham 1356 Id. 

John Brakcll 13C1 Id. 

Thomas t'otterell . . . 1361 Id. 

James de Billingford . . 1382 Id. 

John Pulteney . . . 1383 Id. 

William Bedford . . . 1384 Id. 

John de Berningham . . 1384 Id. 

Andrew Tye . . . 1386 Id. 

Thomas Andrew . . . 1393 Id. 

Adam Hauker . . . 1401 Id. 

John Lilly de Edy thorp . . 1411 Id. 

John Palmere de M'esthale . 1414 Id. 

William Podyngton . . 1426 Id. 

Robert Mersden . . . 1437 Id. 

John Potter 1437 Id. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Thomas Atte Ash . . . 1455 The Crown. 

Robert Blakwell . . . 1469 Id. 

William Moryshead . . 1482 Id. 

John Green . . ' . . 1485 Id. 

Richard Holme . . . 1517 Id. 

Thomas Pindar . . . 1543 Id. 

William Wickham . . . 1554 Id. 

John Durley .... 1567 Id. 

Jacobus Smith . . . 15/6 Id. 

John Utting . . . . 1581 Id. 

Thomas Utting . . . 1623 Id. 

John Moore .... 1662 Id. 

Edward Farden . . 1680 Id. 
Maurice Moseley 

John Aldham ... 1 705 Id. 

Thomas Anguish . . 1727 Id. 

Isaac Colman ... 1 736 Id. 

John Colman . . . 1753 Id. 

Ralph Webb . 1758 Id. 
John Smyth .... 

Robert Hughes ... 1769 Id. 

John Mitford . . . 1815 Id. 

John Mitford, second time . 1824 Id. 

Estimatio ecclesie xx marc : Synodalia per an: xviij rf . Denarii S. Petri, xvi d . 


FIFTEEN free-men held Willingham in demesne under Burchard, a wealthy Saxon, in 
the time of Edward the Confessor ; but at the period of the Norman Survey the parish 
was returned as the lordship of Hugo de Montfort. It was one leuca in length, and 
one in breadth, and paid five pence gelt. In the ninth of Edward I. it was the estate 
of Elizabeth Bruisyard. 

In 1480, Robert Bumpstede, of Willingham Saint Mary, was buried in the chancel 
of Saint Mary's church at Sotterley, near the entrance of it. John, his eldest son, and 
Robert Bumpstede, chaplain, another son, were his executors : he gave his manor of 
Willingham to Marion his wife, and sealed with, argent, on a bend engrailed gules, 
three mullets of the field. 


The manor afterwards passed to the family of Aslack ; for by a deed, without date, 
but probably about the year 1450, Elizabeth Aslack, widow, daughter and heiress of 
Thomas Bardolph, Esq., grants to Robert Clere, Knt., and others, the manor of Willing- 
ham, in Suffolk, to hold for the use of the said Elizabeth for life, and after to William 
Aslack, her son, and his heirs, with remainder to Thomas, her son. By an inquisitio 
post mortem, taken on the 8th of April, twenty-third of Henry VIII., William Aslack was 
found to die June 17th, 1531, seized of the aforesaid manor, and Thomas, son and heir 
of Christopher Playters and Elizabeth his wife, sister of the said William, was his heir. 
The lordship, thus transferred by heirship to the family of Playters, was sold about two 
centuries afterwards to Sir Thomas Robinson, of Worlingharn, from whom it passed to 
the Sparrows, by a like transfer, and again, by marriage, to the Earl of Gosford, its 
present possessor. 

The property of William Neirford and Parnell his wife, one of the daughters and 
co-heircsscs of John de Vallibus, included, inter alia, " a Knight's fee which Ralph de la 
.Mancy holdeth in Willingham." l 

In 1350, Alexander de Erie owned an estate in Willingham and Sotterley, and was 
settled there. His elder brother is supposed to have been the ancestor of the Erles of 
lleydon, in Norfolk. 2 

We learn from Domesday Book that there was a church in Willingham, at the time 
of its compilation, endowed with forty acres of glebe, valued at seven shillings. It was 
dedicated to St. Mary, and the patronage has always been in the Crown, though the 
Testa de Nevill says, " the church of Willingham is in the gift of the King and Robert 
de Seintes." 3 And again it says, " Ecclesia de Weston, et ecclesia See Marie de 
\Vylingham sunt de don: Dm Reg.; et Mag: Simo de Thaneit illas tenet de dono 
Dm regis." 4 

In 1526, Willingham St. Mary was united with the rectory of North Cove, though 
the livings were not consolidated till the 24th of January, 1743. 5 

The church was in use till after the year 1500; for in 1503, and in 1509, legacies 
were made to the "awtor of Wellingham of our Lady," and in a will dated 1529, a 
legacy is left to the reparation of the parish church of Willingham ; so that it would 
seem to have fallen into decay about that period. 6 Its remains are now scarcely 

1 Harl. MSS., No. 971. 2 Blomefield. 3 Testa de Nevill, p. 297. 4 Ibid. p. 285. 

6 MSS. pen. Epis. Norwic. 6 Tanner's MSS. 



Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Nicholas de Stanford . . 1270 The King. 

John de St. Edmund . . 1275 Id. 

Galfridus de Waley . . 1276 Id. 

William de Sutton . . 1313 Id. 

John de la Gere . . . 1333 Id. 

William de Wakefield . . 1341 Id. 

John Stamford . . . 1346 Id. 

JohndeMelburn . . . 1349 Id. 

John Smert . . . . 1351 Id. 

John Aylmer . . . 1352 Id. 

John Spendlove . . . 1355 Id. 

Robert de Day . . . 1370 Id. 

Philip Tregrilla . . . 1379 Id. 

John Palmer . . . 1388 Id. 

Nicholas Joce . . . 1395 Id. 

Henry Graunt . . . 1414 Id. 

William Coll . . . . 1414 Id. 

JohnAuncell . . . 1423 Id. 

Laurence Baldeware . . 1430 Id. 

John Davels . . . . 1431 Id. 

John Flempton . . . 1432 Id. 

Laurence Goldnspey . . Id. 

Thomas Ekkersley . . 1441 Id. 

Richard Blithburgh . . 1447 Id. 

Robert Bumpstede . . 1482 The Bishop, by lapse. 

Thomas Bachiler . . . 1484 The King. 

Thomas Aylward . . . 1490 Id. 

Ed. Hubbard . . . 1497 Id. 

Peter Hewet 1526 Id. 

ULF, a free-man of Gurth, the brother of Harold, held Worlingham at the time of the 
Survey, and Roger Bigot was steward of it for the Conqueror, who retained the manor 
in his own hands. Roger de Montford also possessed an estate here, of which five 
free-men of Gurth had been tenants. It was valued at ten shillings and sixpence, and 


paid one thousand herrings. There were also in this parish two churches, to which 
belonged forty acres of land, worth six shillings. They were the property of the Crown, 
but others enjoyed the profits of them ; viz., Robert de Vallibus held a half-part of one 
of them, with thirty acres of land and a Bordar ; and the Abbot of Bury St. Edmund's 
held the other half, with five acres of land, worth twelve pence. These estates, in all 
probability, formed the manors of Great and Little Worlingham. The Testa de Nevill, 
an invaluable record of the 13th century, contains the following particulars of this 
parish at that early period. " Soca Britonis de Werlingham. Our Lord the King gave 
it to the ancestors of Oliver de Tintamac of Bretagne, and Hamo de Sibeton now holds 
it of the gift of the King ; but by what service is unknown : and it was a member of 
Mutford." l 

" William dc Cheney holds the Soca Britonis in the Hundred of Wainford, in custody 
for William de Tintiniot, and has the custody for Philip de Albon, to whom the King 
gave that custody." 2 

The Abbot of Bury was returned by the Sheriff of Suffolk as lord of the manor of 
Worlingham in 1281, the ninth of Edward I. 3 In the Patent Rolls of the twenty-sixth 
of Edward 111. mention is made of the letting out of the liberties or franchises of the 
Abbot of Bury between Coplestoue, and the mill of Worlingham, and in Beccles. 4 

Coplestone, or Coppleston, is a name still retained by certain lauds in the parish of 
Beccles, and the above record shows the antiquity of the appellations by which most of 
our fields and lanes are known at the present day. 

A branch of the ancient family of Duke was afterwards long possessed of this manor. 
Robert Duke was living here in the reign of Henry VIII. John Duke, Esq., married 
Parnel, daughter of Sir Thomas Rons, of Henham, soon after the year 1600 ; and in 
1049, Thomas Duke, of Worlingham, Esq., was seized of the advowson and manor of 
Diss, in Norfolk. 5 It afterwards became the property of John Felton, Esq., son of Sir 
John Felton, of Playford ; whose only daughter, Elizabeth, having married Sir John 
Playters, of Sotterley, carried it into that ancient line. Sir John Playters sold this, and 
other estates in the neighbourhood, to Sir Thomas Robinson, Bart., of Kentwell Hall in 
Long Melford. Sir Thomas, his son, sold the property and residence at Long Melford, 
and the adjacent neighbourhood, to John Moore, Esq., citizen of London, and made 
Worlingham his residence. He died in 1743, and left this estate to Dame Elizabeth 
his wife, who died in 1758, having previously sold her rights in the manor of Worlingham 
to George Hare, Esq., in fee. Hare re-sold the manor to Robert Sparrow, Esq., June 
23rd, 1755, whose son, the late Robert Sparrow, Esq., succeeded him; who, by his 

1 Testa de Nevill, p. 295. 2 Id. p. 297. 3 Mag. Brit. 

4 Rot. 36 Ed. III. in. Turr. Lond. * Blomefield. 


marriage with Mary, eldest daughter of Sir John Bernard, Bart., of Brampton Park, in 
Northamptonshire, left an only surviving daughter, Mary, who, marrying the Right 
Hon. Archibald Acheson, Earl of Gosford, carried it to that nobleman, who in her right 
holds a life interest in it, with remainder to Lord Acheson, his son, in fee. 

The Earl was created a Peer of the United Kingdom by the title of Baron Worling- 
ham of Beccles, in the county of Suffolk, in 1835, and is descended from an ancient 
family in Ireland ; Sir Archibald Acheson, Secretary of State for Scotland, having been 
created a Baronet in 1628. 

The manor of Little Worlingham was possessed by Catharine Fitz-Osbert in 1281. 
She married Sir John Nojion or Noion, to whom she carried this and other manors in 
Suffolk. 6 Sir John bore gules, a cross engrailed, and a canton arg. 

Fitz-Osbert's shield was gules, 3 bars gemelles or. 

Sir John Noion, = Catli c . Fitz-Osbert. 
living in 1281. 

John Noion, === 
of Soinerley, 
15 Eihv. III. 

John Noion, = 

living 23 Edw. III. 

Sir John Noion, = Beatrix 

living 35 Edw. III. 

John Noion, 
died 35 Edw. III. 

The manor was afterwards held by the family of Cove, of whom it was purchased by 
the Jernegans ; for John Jernegan, of Worlingham, by his last will dated the 31st of 
October, thirteenth of Edward IV., says, " first, I will after my dissece that Osberne 
Jernegan, my sone, have alle my maner of lityll Wyrlyngham, with all the comoditees, 
&c., within the townes of litill Wirlyngham, Cove, Elgh, and grcte Wyrlingham, or els 
where inne the Hundred of Waynforth, late purchased of Will: Cove, to alle the tenne 
of his lyffe, withouten impechement of waste ; and to hys issue male of hys body lawfully 
begotyn, and for defaute to his old daughter, and for defaulte, &c., to Elizabeth Denton, 
my daughter, for life, and after to Wat Denton, her sone, for life, and after to be sold." 

This lordship was always of very inconsiderable extent, and exercising at present no 
manorial rights, may be considered as lost. 

William de Cheney gave to the monks of Langley, in Norfolk, his tenants in Cove 
and Worlingham. 7 

6 Returns made to the Exchequer by the Sheriff of Suffolk, 9 Edward I. 7 Blomefield. 

VOL. I. O 


In 1540, Thomas Atkin, Vicar of Mutford, gave to Gonville Hall, Cambridge, Pain's 
Close in Worlingham, of forty shillings per annum rent, for stipends for three scholars 
of the diocese of Norwich, who are to be chosen by the master and two senior fellows. 8 

John Wilde, of Lowestoft, by will dated 22nd July, 1753, gave a considerable 
estate lying in Worlingham to the parish of Lowestoft, for establishing an English and 
Grammar School there, for the benefit of poor children belonging to that town. The 
above John Wilde was buried in the common pathway in Worlingham church-yard, 
leading from the gate next the road to the church porch, having a load of stones poured 
upon him when laid in his grave ; but there is no memorial for him, nor have we heard 
that there ever was any. 9 By an Act of Parliament, passed thirty-first George III., 
1791, entitled 'An Act for effectuating and establishing an exchange agreed upon 
between the Trustees of Wilde's Charity, and Robert Sparrow, Esq., and Mary Bence, 
spinster, of certain estates in the county of Suffolk,' it was settled, that in consideration 
of certain lands situated in the parishes of Laxfield, Dennington, and Baddingham, in 
the county of Suffolk, belonging to the said Mary Bencc, and of certain other lands 
lying in Worlingham, in the possession of the said Robert Sparrow, the trustees of the 
said charity made an exchange of the said Wilde's estate in Worlingham, for the lands 
aforesaid belonging to the said Mary Bence and Robert Sparrow, for the purposes 
mentioned in the will of the said John Wilde. 10 

The parish of Worlingham gave birth to Dr. Thomas Gooch, successively Bishop of 
Bristol, Norwich, and Ely ; Master of Gains College, Cambridge, and Vice-Chancellor of 
that University in 1717, 1718, and 1719. During the violence of party in Dr. Bentley's 
time, the Bishop was shot at as he was passing from chapel to Cains Lodge. On the 
late alterations there, search was made, and a bullet found. While exercising the office 
of Vice-Chancellor, he raised by contributions 10,000, which have since been expended 
in building the Senate House; and in 1742, while holding the See of Norwich, he 
instituted two societies in Norfolk and Suffolk for the relief and support of distressed 
widows and orphans of poor clergymen. He was thrice married ; and succeeded to the 
Baronetcy on the death of his elder brother in 1751, without issue. His mother was 
Frances, daughter of Thomas Lone, Gent., of Worlingham. His Lordship died in 1754, 
aged 79, and was succeeded in his title of Baronet by his son. 

The family of Smallpeece was of considerable standing, and of good estate in this 
parish. They are said to have been originally of Metfield, in Suffolk, but Blomefield 
records the monument of Humphrey Smallpeice, who was buried at Hockering, in 
Norfolk, in 1539, and their name occurs yet earlier among the 'Worthies' of Norwich. 
They were residing in Worlingham soon after the year 1600. Thomas Smallpeece, son 

8 Blomefield. Jermyn MSS. 10 Idem. 



of Thomas Smallpeece, Gent., and Frances, was baptized on the 28th of February, 1682. 
The family merged into that of Fox, of Stradbrook, in the middle of the last century, 
when Joseph Fox, Esq., of Stradbrook, and Mrs. Elizabeth Smallpeece, were married in 
1756. Mr. Fox was the representative of an old Roman Catholic family, and related 
to the celebrated Minister of that name. Their eight children were baptized at Strad- 
brook by a Romish priest from the house of Mr. Havers, and received into the church 
at Worlingham, 16th November, 1778. 

Smallpeece bears sab. a chev. engrailed between 3 cinquefoils argent, pierced of the 

Their residence and estate were purchased by the late Robert Sparrow, Esq., just 
before his decease. The former contained some family portraits of no great value, but 
was especially rich in curious old furniture. Among other articles of interest was the 
splendid chest represented beneath, now in the possession of the writer. 

The eastern portion of the parish consisted a few years ago of uncultivated heaths 
and commons. In this part of the village stands an ancient oak, whose trunk is almost 
concealed from view by a thriving hedge. This venerable tree, whose age is probably 
above five hundred years, and which 

" Whylom had been the king of the field," 

is now a hollow and almost sapless trunk. It afforded shelter for some years to 
the village cobler, who pursued his occupation within its rind; and it is said that 
a blacksmith once shod a horse within it. The tradition may be true, for it measures 
twenty-seven feet in circumference at a foot from the ground. 


" But now the gray moss mars his rind, 
His hared boughs are beaten with storms, 
His top is bald, and wasted with worms, 
His honour decayed, his braunches sere." SPENCER. 

Worlingham Hall, the seat of Lord Acheson, was built by John Felton, Esq., 
but has been considerably enlarged and improved. It contains a valuable library, and 
stands in a well-wooded park on the north of the road leading from Beccles to 

The population of Worlingham in 1841 was 208 inhabitants, and the parish 
contains 1031 acres, 2 roods, 19 perches of land; of which 47^- are glebe. The 
tithes have been commuted for a rent - charge of 303, exclusive of the value of 
the glebes. 

The two churches which formerly existed in Worlingham were appropriated to 
the Convent of Butley. They were dedicated respectively to All Saints and St. Peter. 
The latter structure has been down many years, and was probably not used after 1492, 
when the two parishes were consolidated. The register of Butley Priory says that the 
church of St. Peter of Worlingham was appropriated to that establishment by John Grey, 
Bishop of Norwich. 11 The assignment must, therefore, have taken place prior to 
the year 1200, for that prelate died on the 2nd of June in that year. 12 Walter 
de Suffield, Bishop of Norwich, confirmed to the Priory of St. Mary of Butley, and the 
monks there, the appropriation of this church, and the taxation of the vicarage of 
I'pton in Norfolk. This confirmation took place about A. D. 1248. 13 The Prior 
presented to the church of All Saints soon after the year 1300; so that, probably, 
the appropriation of both benefices was effected about the same time. As the 
advowson of the consolidated rectories was not granted away at the dissolution of 
religious houses in the sixteenth century, it has remained with the Crown. 

William Elyot, parson of the church of Worlingham (magna), was one of the 
executors of the will of Dantres, dated 1384, and proved in 1385. 14 The church 
of All Saints is now the only parochial church. It was formerly thatched with reeds, 
which have given place to the more durable and seemly covering of slate. It comprises 
a nave and chancel, with a south aisle or chapel attached to the latter, and has a lofty 
square tower. The interior is well proportioned and reputably kept, and formerly 
possessed a magnificent screen, of which the lower portion only remains. The chapel 
on the south side of the chancel was erected by some family formerly resident in 
the parish, possibly by the Jernegans, or the Dukes. Under the east window of this 
chapel the floor is raised a step, and the appearance of a piscina points out the position 

11 Kaleud. Buttele, MS. fol. 40. 12 Godwinus. 13 MS. pen. Epis. Norwic. u Harl. MSS. 


of an altar, where a priest performed mass for the souls of the founder and his family. 
From this chapel is a doorway, giving access immediately to the high altar. It is now 
used as a vestry. From a date remaining on the south-west angle of the nave, and the 
appearance of the masonry there, it is probable that part of the edifice underwent a 
considerable repair in 1008. This conjecture is much strengthened by the last will and 
testament of Mrs. Agnes Lone, dated about that year, who therein devised 3s. 4< 
towards the reparation of this church. The chalice now used by this parish at the 
celebration of the Lord's Supper formerly belonged to the parish of Upton, as appears 
by an inscription engraved upon it. In 1171, the rectory of the latter place was 
appropriated to the Convent of Butley, and a vicarage settled, but how the transfer of 
its communion cup to Worlingham took place is not apparent. 

Monuments. There is a very ancient floor-stone in the chancel, inscribed with a 
cross bottonee, raised on three grieces ; and in the nave is a stone with this legend in 
black letter, without a date. 

ruisf alh pjpiwt tie- lmnu 

On the floor of the chapel lie the effigies of a man and his wife, from beneath which 
the arms and inscription are reaved ; but which Harvey, in his Church Collections, has 
preserved. " Nycholas Wrcnne, gent, and Mary his wife, dyed a M.V c Xj." This 
Nicholas Wrenne, of Worlingham, made his will September 20th, 1507. Mary his wife 
was then living ; and they had two sons, Nicholas and John, and two daughters, Margery 
and Elizabeth. Their arms were party per pale indented or and gules, six martlets 

Against the south wall is a curious epitaph to the memory of Mrs. Parnell Hous, 
alias Duke, wife to John Duke, Esq., of Wallingham, made y e 22nd April, 1637; and a 
second on the "Dove-like Virgin Mrs. Anne Duke," their daughter, made 10th of 
January, A. D. 1658. 

Duke's arms are attached, viz., az. a chevron between 3 sterns close arg. a crescent 
for difference, impaling on the dexter side, sab. a fess indented or, between 3 crescents 
argent ; and on the sinister side quarterly ermine and sable, a cross engrailed or. Duke, 
of six coats, viz., 1. Duke; 2. Park, azure, an eagle displayed arg.; 3. Wood well, az. 
a fess between two chevr. arg., and a canton erm. ; 4. Banyard ; 5. Wren ; and 6, Coo, 
three piles wavy, in point, impales Hobart, sab. an etoile or, and a flaunch erm. 

There is an elegant mural monument, by Chantry, to the memory of Robert Bernard 
Sparrow, only son of the late Robt. Sparrow, Esq., of Worlingham. 

" Quern dum ex insula Tobago cui praefuerat 

In Angliam reverteretur 
Febris inter navigandum lethali ictu percussit." 


He died August 29th, 1805, and was buried at Tobago. Robert Acheson Bernard St. 
John Sparrow, his only son, died at Nice, March 3rd, 1818, aged 19. 

On a hatchment near this cenotaph are the arms of Sparrow, arg. 3 roses az. and a 
chief gules, impaling Bernard, arg. a bear erect sab. collared and muzzled or. 

There are also memorials to Alice, wife of Thomas Smallpeece, and daughter of 
Francis Jenny, Esq., of Gunton, who died in 1762 ; with the arms of Smallpeece 
impaling Jermy, arg. a lion ramp, guard, gules. To Elizabeth, widow of Joseph Fox, 
and daughter of Philip Smallpeece, who died in 1811, aged 81. To Sir Thomas 
Robinson, Bart., and Dame Elizabeth his wife; he died in 1743, and she in 1758. To 
the Rev. James Carter, M.A., and Dorothy his wife, daughter of Timothy Tyrel, Esq., 
of Mendlesham. He died in 1778, aged 80; she died in 1752, aged 56. Henry 
Alexander, formerly Major in the service of the Nabob of Arcot, died in 1808, aged 71. 
Hector, his son, died in 1806, aged 13. Sophia, his daughter, in 1806, aged 16 years. 
In the church-yard, adjoining to the south Avail of the nave, is an altar-tomb of white 
marble, bearing the arms of Playters impaling Felton, gules, two lioncels passant guard, 
in pale, erm., crowned or, with a mullet for difference, and an inscription to the memory 
of Dame Elizabeth Playters, daughter and sole heiress of John Felton, Esq., who died 
November 14, 1748, aged 58 ; and also to John Felton, her father, who died in 1703, 
aged 41. On a hatchment in the church, Felton impales arg., two chevronels between 
3 chaplets vert. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 
Joes Pcpys .... 

Joes Wayte . . . . 1371 Prior and Convent of Butley. 

William Bright . . . 1377 Id. 

Joes Raas, Apticus . . 1380 Id. 

William Elyot . . . 1382 Id. 

John Crew de Hecham . . 1390 Id. 

John Naconn . . . 1425 Id. 

John Pilleston . . . 1428 Id. 

Simon Atte Grene . . . 1429 Id. 

William Plomer . . . 14/1 Id. 

Robert Framlyngham . . 1492 Id. 

John Brown .... 1497 Id. 

Thomas Byngle . . . 1501 Id. 

Augustine Thurkle . . Id. 

William Haforthe . . . 1558 Nicholas Arrowsmith, Esq. 

William Bentley . . . 1576 The Crown. 

Robert Belye . . . 1576 Id. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Thomas Knighte ... 1587 The Crown. 

Henry Draper . . . 1624 Id. 

James Kinge . . . 1C 25 Id. 

Randolph Gilpin . . 1661 Id. 

Thomas Camell . . . 1661 Id. 

Erasmus Warren . . . 1G65 Id. 

Timothy Stamp ... 1696 Id. 

James Carter . . . 1724 Id. 

John Soley .... 1779 Id. 

John Soley, 2nd time . . Id. 

Thomas Boyce . . . 1780 Id. 

Naunton Thomas Orgill . . 1 793 Id. 

David Ililcoat Leighton . . 1837 Id. 

Estimatio ccclie xviij marc: Synodalia per an: ii*. viij rf . Denary S. Petri, xvi rf . 

Here was a guild of St. John Baptist. 

The registers of Worlingham commence in 1538. " Augustine Duke, son of Robert, 
borne 21 June, baptized next Sunday, 1538." 

Charities. The town estate consists of the following parcels. A messuage called 
the Guild Hall, in Worlingham, rent 5. Land in Ellough let at 3, consisting of two 
acres. Marsh lands in the parish, called Pound's half acre, let at 10<s. Qd. ; nine acres 
in the same parish, let at 1 ; messuage and blacksmith's shop in Worlingham, with 
3 acres and 21 perches, let at 10. The declaration of trust is as follows. "That the 
rents should be applied for payment of the leet fee of the whole town of Worlingham ; 
and for repairing the buildings on the estate, and the parish church of Worlingham ; 
and for putting out the poor children belonging to the said town, apprentices ; and for 
the teaching of the children of such poor people to read English, and for instructing them 
in the church catechism, and for such other purposes for the good and benefit of the 
said town ; provided that no part of the said rents should be laid out in beer, or any 
other liquors, at bonfires, or perambulations, or on account of repairing the highways." 


ILKETSHALL signifies the hall or chief residence of Ulketil, who was Earl of East Anglia 
in the eleventh century. Thus Redenhall, in Norfolk, is mentioned in Domesday Book 
as the hall of Rada, who held it in the time of Edward the Confessor. 


This district comprehends the parishes of St. Andrew, St. John, St. Laurence, St. 
Margaret, and All Saints Mettingham ; to which the two parishes of St. Mary and 
Holy Trinity, in Bungay, are added, and make up what are commonly called ' The 
seven parishes;' in contradistinction to the South Elmhams, or 'The nine parishes.' 

Among the Saxons mentioned in the Domesday Survey as holding estates here, 
richetel, a free-man, had property in Bungay; and a free-woman, whose name is not 
recorded, appears as an under-tenant of the wealthy Burchard an early instance of a 
fi'ina/c Suffolk farmer. The King and Earl Hugh took possession of the greater part of 
Ilketshall, but their estates were soon afterwards divided into smaller parcels, upon 
which various families fixed their residence. The principal of these was one which 
assumed its surname from the township. Sir Gilbert de Ilketshall was lord of Heden- 
hani and Kclling, in Norfolk, and of Ilketshall, in Suffolk, as early as the reign of 
William Rut us. Sir Thomas dc Ilketshall was son of Sir Gilbert, as appears from the 
register of Holm Abbey. Gilbert de Ilketshall, Esq., was son and heir of Sir Thomas, 
and in the thirty-second of Henry III. had a charter of free-warren in Ilketshall. Sir 
James de Ilketshall was son of Gilbert, and in the fifty-second of Henry III. mortgaged 
for twenty-seven marks and a half of silver, to the Lady Sarah, Prioress of Bungay, 
certain lands, &c. In the following year he conveyed an acre of land, and the advowson 
of the church of St. John Baptist of Ilketshall, by fine to the Priory of the Holy Cross 
in Bungay. Amongst the knights of Suffolk in the seventeenth of Edward I. occurs 
the name of this Sir James de Ilketshall: he died in 1312. In the list of towns and 
their lords, made in the ninth of Edward II., the Sheriff of Suffolk returns that 
Ilketshall had three lords namely, Comitissa Marescall, Guido Ferre, 1 and Jacobus de 
Ilketshall. This Sir Jacobus or James de Ilketshall was son and heir of the former Sir 
James, and married Ida, daughter and coheiress of Sir Robert de Stafford, Knight, by 
Gundreda his wife ; and Sir Robert was son of Sir William de Stafford by Ermctrude 
his wife, daughter and coheir of Robert, lord of Rodbourn, in Derbyshire. In the 
sixth of Edward II. a deed was executed between Sir James de Ilketshall on the one 
part, and James his son and Ida his wife, whereby James and Ida grant the manor of 
Kelling, in Norfolk, to Sir James for life, and Sir James released to them 9 per 
annum out of his 15 per annum annuity, which they were to pay him and Aliva his 
wife, for the manor of Hedenham : dated at Ilketshall on Monday next after the feast 
of St. Michael. 

Sir James, the son, was lord of Ilketshall in the ninth of Edward II., as appears by 
the record called Nomina Villarum. He and Ida his wife were living in the fifteenth of 
Edward III., and left two sons, Sir Philip, the younger, and Sir Robert de Ilketshall, 

1 He bore gules, a cross moline arg., a baton az. obt. sine prole. 


his heir, who died before 1381 ; for at that time Claricia, his late wife, was married to 
Sir Robert de Morley. By this Claricia, Sir Robert de Ilketshall had two sons and four 
daughters. The daughters were, Joan, married to William de Sharnbourn, Esq. ; Idonea, 

married to , whose daughter and heiress Margery was wife to Laurence 

Fitz-Piers. Margaret married to Thomas Seive, of Worstead ; and the fourth daughter 
married Gilbert de Debenham. The sons were, William de Ilketshall, who was the 
younger, and living in the nineteenth of Richard II. ; and Sir Thomas de Ilketshall, 
son and heir of Sir Robert, who married Isabel, daughter of , who after- 
wards became the wife of William Deyvile, Esq. Philip de Ilketshall, their son, married, 
but died without issue in the reign of Henry VI. 2 

The arms of Ilketshall were or, a fess between two chevronels gules, and a canton 

In the second of Edward III., the King granted to John Bardolf, and Elizabeth 
his wife, daughter and heiress of Roger Daniery, the manor of Ilketshall in fee. 3 
" Rex concessit Joh: Bardolfe et Eliz: ux: ejus, h'liac et hcredi Rogeri Daniery, in feodo 
maneria de Ilkelleshall, et de Clopton, in Com: Suff: per servitium \ unius feodi militis, 
necnon 40 s . annui redditus de Abb: de Waltham S. Crucis pro finna de Waltham, in 
escambio pro maneriis de Kenyngton, et de Frankcshall in Com: Surr." 4 

This grant was the manor of Bardolf in Ilketshall St. Laurence, and Bungay 
Trinity, which acquired its appellation from this family. They bore az. 3 cinquefoils 
or, and descended from the famous Thomas, Lord Bardolph of Stoke-Bardolph, in 
the county of Nottingham, in the reign of Henry I.; who was killed at the battle 
of Branceholm Moor in Northumberland. Hugh Bardolph was in the advanced guard 
at the siege of Kaerleverock in Scotland, twenty-eighth of Edward I. Sir Thomas 
Bardolph was a Knight Banneret in the reign of Edward I., and was present at the 
tournament of Dunstable, in the second of Edward II. Both Hugh and Sir Thomas 
bore the arms as above, but the cinquefoils are said to have been afterwards perforated. 
The family was seated at Bardolph Hall in Ilketshall, and in Dennington, in Hoxne 
Hundred, till the seventh of Henry IV., when Thomas, Lord Bardolph, was attainted 
in Parliament. He left two daughters, Joan, married to William Philips, and Ann, 
married first to Sir William Clifford, and secondly to Reginald Cobham. 

The Bardolphs held the manor of Barren, in the thirty-fourth of Edward I. ; two 
knights' fees in Fretingham, Sproughton, and Spiksworth, in the first of Edward III. ; 
the manor of Clopton, and 20 per annum out of the manor of Ilketshall, in the 
forty-fifth of Edward III. ; Ringshall in Clopton, with the advowson of Debash ; 
and Bardolph Hall in Ilketshall, in the fourth of Henry IV. Sir William Philips, 

2 Harl. MSS., Blomefield, &c. 3 Harl. MSS. 4 Tower Records, 2 Edward III. memb. 9. 

VOL. I. P 


who bore quarterly, gul. and arg., an eagle displayed or, in the first quarter, married, 
as before stated, Joan, daughter of Lord Bardolph, and was by Henry V. created 
Lord Bardolph, jure uxoris. His seats were Bardolph Hall in Ilketshall, and Den- 
nington, where he founded a chantry for two priests to celebrate divine service daily, 
and to pray for the good estate of himself and his wife Joan, during their lives, and 
for their souls after their departure ; also for the souls of Henry IV., Henry V., and all 
the faithful deceased. He was Knight of the Garter, and left Elizabeth his sole 
daughter and heiress, who married John, Lord Viscount Beaumont, who settled at 
Deiiiiington, after his marriage. 

Beaumont bore az., a lion ramp, or, within a bordure ermine. They were Viscounts 
tor several generations, and Lords of Ilketshall, Dennington, and Clopton, in the first of 
Henry VIII., about which time Lord Viscount Beaumont died without issue, leaving 
Brian Staple-ton and John Morris, his heirs. 

In 1;3(M), we meet with AVilliam de la Park, of Ilketshall, who had lands called 
Park's Manor, from his own name, in Aslacton in Norfolk. 

In 134.), William Del Park was lord. lie bore az. an eagle displayed arg. This 
ancient family came originally from Ilcveningham ; for we find that in 1289, William, 
son of William Del Park of Heveningham, had the whole manor of Bartlcts, alias 
II (-rewards, in Wickmere, in Norfolk, with the advowson. 5 The Parks were seated 
at Ilketshall, till Joan, sole daughter and heiress, married John Duke, of Brampton. 
This estate remained with the Dukes for several generations, of whom it was purchased 
by the Richmonds, and passed by the marriage of Mary, daughter and heiress of 
William Richmond, to Charles Garneys, Esq., of Hedenham. From the Garneys 
it passed again by marriage to James Calthorpe, Esq. 

In the tenth of Henry VIII., Sir Richard Wingfield held the manor of Ilketshall of 
the King, by knight's service, and the rent of one penny per annum. By the 
inquisitio post mortem Jacobi Bungay, taken November 2nd, in the tenth of Queen 
Elizabeth, he held lands in Ilketshall St. Andrew, of Peter Rede, Esq., as parcel of his 
manor of Ellys ; also in Beccles, of John Blennerhasset, as of his manor of Barsham ; 
and in Ilketshall and Shipmeadow. 

In the fifteenth of Elizabeth, Thomas Rouse, Arm: held lands in St. Laurence, 
Bungay, &c., valued at 13 per annum, and also the manor of Ilketshall Bardolph : he 
died 20th February in that year, leaving his son, Thomas Rouse, his heir, aged about 
twelve years. These manors and estates have subsequently merged into various 
channels. In 1561, this district had the following number of freeholders. St. Andrew 
Ilketshall 10 ; among whom was Edward Tasburgh, Gent. ; Saint Laurence 3, and 
St. Margaret Ilketshall 4. 6 

5 Blomefield. 6 Lansdowne MSS. vol. v. 


The several churches in these parishes became appropriated to the Benedictine 
Priory in Bungay, except that of the Holy Trinity, which was given to the Monastery of 
Barlings, in Lincolnshire. 

Dugdale cites a long and interesting charter of Henry II., granted at the petition of 
Roger Glanville and Gundreda his wife, confirming to the nuns of Bungay, inter alia, 
the churches of St. Cross (St. Mary) in Bungay, All Saints Mettingham, St. Margaret, 
St. Andrew and St. Laurence Ilketshall. St. John's Church was afterwards conveyed 
to them, as before shown. 

A second charter of the same King mentions several donations to the nuns of 
Bungay, among which are the gifts of Thomas, fil: Gilb: de Ilketshall, the homage 
of Ulketel the merchant, and the donations of John Hockcdcz of Ilketshall, who gave 
the homage of Alan, fil : Amulphi de Metingham. 

In 1474, John Bernard, Esq., of Norwich, bequeathed legacies to the churches of 
St. John, St. Laurence, and St. Margaret Ilketshall ; and also made a bequest to 
Mettingham Castle. 

The Liberty of the Duke of Norfolk includes this district. 


St. Andrew Ilketshall was the lordship of James de Ilketshall, in the ninth of 
Edward I. The interests of this family here are given in a previous page. In the 
fifth of Queen Elizabeth it was held by Sir Henry Denny, who sold it to Sir Nicholas 
Bacon, whose heirs, in 1657, re-sold it to William Gymmingham, Gent., of St. John's 
Ilketshall, who by his will, dated October 8th, 1658, left his wife, Rebecca, a life 
interest therein, and directed it to be sold on her decease. She held it till 1677, when 
she alienated it, with the property called St. John's Hall, to John Hunt, Esq., and it 
became united with the Mettingham Castle estate. The soil of all the commons and 
waste lands within the parish appears to belong to this manor ; there being divers pre- 
sentments in the court books for persons commoning, not being tenants of the manor ; 
and for incroachments and nuisances therein. In 1751, forfeitures were remitted, on 
payment, by Thomas Clendon, Gent., of 21 to the lord, for having cut down timber 
trees, &c. 7 The manor now belongs to the Rev. Jeremy Day. 

The appropriation of the rectory to the nuns of Bungay was granted as early as the 
reign of Henry II. They continued in possession of the great tithes and the advowson 
of the vicarage till the dissolution of religious houses by Henry VIII., who, on the 18th 

7 Jermyn MSS. 


of December, in the twenty-ninth year of his reign, granted them to Thomas, Duke of 
Norfolk, to be held by him and the heirs of his body in capite, &c. On the 27th of 
February, 1724, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, sold " all and singular the rectory or par- 
sonage impropriate of Ilketshall St. Andrew, with the glebe lands, tithes, &c., thereto 
belonging," to Henry Williams, of Bungay, for 265. 

By indre of bargain and sale, dated March 9th, 1778, between Sarah Williams, 
relict of Robert Williams, of the first part ; Henry Williams, of Marlesford, Clk., only 
son and heir-at-law of Robert Williams, deceased, and Sarah Williams, of Bungay, 
spinster; said Henry Williams and Sarah Williams being the only surviving issue 
of the said Robert Williams, of the second part; and Philip Walker, of Lowestoft, 
merchant, of the third part, in consideration of the natural love and affection, &c., and 
for barring all entails, &c. ; the said Sarah Williams, the elder, Sarah Williams, the 
younger, and Henry Williams, did grant, bargain and sell to Philip Walker, his heirs 
and assigns, the said premises, to hold to him, to the use of Henry Williams, and his 
heirs and assigns for ever. 8 The said Henry Williams afterwards contracted with the 
proprietors of lands in the parish of St. Andrew for the sale of the great tithes issuing 
out of their respective estates. 9 In 1779, the Rev. Henry Williams, of Marlesford, sold 
to Mr. Arnold the great tithes growing on his farm in St. Andrew Ilketshall, for 
189. 10 In the same year Williams conveyed to Dr. Tanner the great tithes of his 
lands. Williams executed a covenant to keep the chancel in repair, and to pay all 
procurations and synodals. 11 The unsold portion of the great tithes was afterwards 
purchased by Alexander Browne, Esq., and is now the property of Elizabeth, his 
eldest daughter, the wife of John Page Scott, Esq., of Norwich. The vicarage passed 
from the Howards to the same family of Williams, from whom it was transferred to the 
trustees of Bungay School, as will be shown hereafter, who are the present patrons. 

The parish contains 1694 acres, 3 roods, 9 perches of strong, but fertile land, whereof 
71 acres are commons. The glebes amount to 29 acres. The great tithes have been 
commuted for 395. 12s. 2^d., of which the impropriatrix receives 128. lls. Id., the 
residue being the property of divers owners. The vicarial tithes are commuted for 
130. 7s. l\d. The Rector of St. John's has a portion of tithes amounting to 27 per 
annum out of this parish, and the Rector of Shipmeadow 1. 10s. 

The population amounted in 1841 to 548 souls. 


is a structure of considerable antiquity, and comprises a nave and chancel only : the 
former is covered with a fine oak roof, but the latter is sadly disfigured by sundry rods 

8 Jermyn MSS. Id. 10 Id. Id. 


of iron, which have been stretched across it to prevent the further spread of its walls. 
The walls of the nave batter internally in a very remarkable degree, thereby producing 
an unpleasant effect, and impressing the unpractised eye with an idea of insecurity. 
The nave has two doorways in the circular or Norman style, and that on the south side 
is richly ornamented with the zigzag, or chevron moulding. The tower is remarkably lofty, 
and, standing on an elevated site, commands extensive views over the neighbourhood : 
it is circular, with narrow pointed windows, and crowned with an octagonal incumbent. 
Against the south wall of the chancel is a fine inarched surbased monument, which is, 
probably, the founder's tomb. The pinnacles, and moulding of its ogee arch, are ter- 
minated with bold and well-wrought finials, barbarously clogged with limewash. The 
font is octangular, with eight plain shields. In 1810 there was a screen between 
the body of the church and the chancel, which is now destroyed. The royal arms 
were placed over the centre compartment, and the armorial ensigns of the Howards 
stood on each side ; the dexter shield having these charges 1. Howard. 2. Brotherton. 
3. Warren. 4. Mowbray. 5. Fitzalan. 6. Cloun, arg. a chief az. 7. Maltravers. 
8. Widville, arg. a fess and a chief az. These shields have been placed against the 
wall of the nave by the Rev. F. Barkway, the present Curate. 

Monuments. " Under this stone lieth the body of John Verdon, Gent., which was 
forsaken of the soule the 28th day of May, 1624, but expectes it againe at y e day of 
the resurrection." 

"Thomas Elfe, of St. Andrew's, died Oct. 23, 1705, set. 84." Elfe bears .... on 
a fess .... between 3 crescents .... as many escallop-shells 


Vicars. Date. Patrons. 
William Atte Welle de Dyching- 

ham (bis) .... 1327 Prioress and Convent of Bungay. 

Robert Kydewyne . . . 1349 Id. 

Stephen Home . . . . 1361 Id. 

Richard Fraunceys . . . 1374 Id. 

Robert Segrave .... 1389 Id. 

Simon Bond de-Carleton . . 1391 Id. 
William, son of Roger Hacon de 

Cantele .... 1393 Id. 

William Pycard . . . 1394 Id. 

Galfridus Shaver . . . 1405 Id. 

Thomas Man .... 1409 Id. 

JohnBlackhod .... 1422 Id. 

Richard Holl 1426 Id. 



Vicars. Date. 

Simon Jenvey .... 1427 

Richard Cristmess . . . 1439 

Robert Balle .... 1446 

William Serjeant . . . 1448 

John Bakhows . . . . 1451 

John Baddesworth . . . 1454 

John Dalton .... 1458 

Edmund Sawer . . . 1462 

John Joynte . . . . 1473 

JohnWellys .... 1478 

Robert Vyncent . . . 1486 

John Cobbe . . . . 1501 
Stephen Logan 

Robert Ashby . . . . 1518 

John Valentyn, alias Larke . 1547 

Robert Randall . . . 1564 

John Leake .... 1572 

Thomas Leake . . . . 1578 

William Jones (twice presented in) 1590 

William Golding . . . 1593 

John Shardelowe 

JohnWelton .... 1644 

William Nuttall ... 1685 

Francis Smce .... 1727 

Thomas Whi taker . . . 1748 

Robert English . . . 1754 

William Pochin ... 1784 

John Gilbert 1809 


Prioress and Convent of Bungay. 

The Bishop, by lapse. 
Prioress and Convent of Bungay. 

Bishop, by lapse. 
Prioress and Convent of Bungay. 


The King. 

Thomas, Duke of Norfolk. 

John Blennerhasset, William Dyx, and W. 

Cautrell, Esq rs . 12 

Assignees of Philip, Earl of Surrey. 
The Crown. 

Lionel, Earl of Middlesex, and others. 

Thomas Howard, of Worksop. 

Henry Williams, Gent. 

Rich d . Nelson, Henry Williams, and others. 

Henry Williams and Rich" 1 . Nelson. 

Trustees of Bungay School. 


Estimatio illins xii marc: estimatio vicarise ejusdem vi marc. Denarij S. Petri, ix d . 

- Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, whom Queen Elizabeth beheaded, having in 1558 put his vast estates in 
trust to William Cautrell and others, the Queen allowed him to continue to act as trustee until she sent 
the Earl of Arundel to the Tower, when she appointed William Cautrell to act for herself. As John 
Blennerhasset' s name appears as the duke's trustee also, it will, in some measure perhaps, account for the 
gift of the advowson of Shipmeadow, before mentioned, which was made in this year. 


COMMANDED by the rising grounds to the south, if Bungay were now a fortified town it 
could not sustain the siege of a single day; but in times of simpler warfare, when 
artillery was unknown, its natural defences were very remarkable. 

Encircled by a broad and rapid river, which left a narrow isthmus only to defend, 
its site became, in succession, the stronghold of the Roman, the Saxon, and the Norman. 
Coins, and other relics of their arts, attest the tenure of the former race ; within whose 
massy ramparts the Saxon fixed his dwelling called it his Burgh in the goodly island, 
and lived comparatively secure. Next came the proud and politic Norman, who, 
despising the intrenchments of his simpler predecessors, raised the frowning towers of 
his formidable fortress. The votaries of religion, sheltering in these stormy times 
beneath the buckler of the feudal chieftain, built here their splendid fane, and exercised 
their rites in security and peace. 

The passing traveller sees now, perchance, nothing in the site but a neat and modern 
town ; and, immersed in railroad speculation and its gains, directs not his ideas to the 
revolutions which the place has witnessed. Let him whirl on : we love to linger amidst 
its moss-grown ruins to retrace in imagination the days of its chivalry and splendour, 
and catch, in fancy's ear, the solemn cadence of its cloistered nuns. What ! though its 
castle-hall be desolate and its towers razed though its cloisters be levelled, and their 
inmates dust, they force from us a sigh for their departed glories, even while we 
acknowledge the liberties resulting from their overthrow. They prove to us the insta- 
bility of all earthly power, and serve, without a fiction, to " point a moral or adorn 
a tale." 

At the period of the Norman Survey, Bungay was divided into several manors and 
estates, which were retained by the Conqueror in his own hands, under the steward- 
ship of William de Noiers. There were three churches within the Burgh, and two 
without, all endowed with glebes ; one of the former having 30 acres, valued at 3s. 
The tenants were rich in swine, sheep, and poultry. The manor of Bungay Burgh, 
before the Conquest, had been the property of Godric ; but the Soke was held by 
Stigand, who appears to have been the largest proprietor in the place. These manors 
are now the property of His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, having descended to him 
through a long line of ancestors from Roger Bigot, to whom they were granted by the 
Conqueror soon after Domesday Book was compiled. There is a third manor in this 
town called the Priory, having been the lordship of the convent, which has also merged 


into the possessions of the same noble family by a transfer which will hereafter be 
shown. Earl Hugh had also a manor and estate here. 

Although Bungay was evidently a place of some consideration during the Saxon era, 
it increased rapidly in population and wealth after it was granted to the Bigots, who 
built a castle here, and made it the chief place of their residence. Amongst the earliest 
of its privileges and immunities was the establishment of a mint ; a fact which appears 
from the Pipe Rolls of Henry II., which record that in 1158 the Jews at Bongeye paid 
to that monarch 15 as minters. 1 In 1199, Hugh le Bigot gave the King forty marks 
for permission to extend the privileges of his fair in Bungay; 2 and in the seventh of the 
succeeding reign, Roger Bigot, Earl of Norfolk, had the royalty of the river Waveney 
between the towns of Beccles and Bungay. In the twenty-fourth of Henry III., 
William de Pirnhoe released to the Earl, by fine, his right of fishery from the mills of 
Cliff, and the bridge of Bungay; and the Earl granted him a fishery from Bungay bridge 
to the Earl's vineyard. 3 

It does not appear when the market at Bimgay was first established. It is not 
recorded in Domesday Book, and, therefore, probably sprung up to supply the wants of 
the lord of the castle and his numerous retainers. It was certainly existing in the reign 
of Henry III., though it seems to have been in a languishing condition, for in the year 
1245, Roger Bigot, Earl of Norfolk, granted to Thomas Bacon liberty to hold a weekly 
market and a fair in Loddon, on paying to the said Roger 20s. per annum ; he being 
sued by the said Earl, as the market at Loddon was prejudicial to the Earl's market at 
Bungay. 4 By an inquisition taken in 1302, or 1303, it was shown that the market at 
Bungay was then held ' per diem Sabbati,' that is, we presume, on the Jews' Sabbath, 
or Saturday; but by a charter dated the fifth and sixth of Richard II., 1382, the King 
granted to his dear cousin, Margaret Mareschall, Countess of Norfolk, and the heirs of 
her body, for ever, " quod habeant unum mercatum qualibet septimana per diem Jovis 
apud manerium suum de Bungcye;" which alteration of the market-day to Thursday 
has remained unaltered to the present time. 

At an inqm'sitio post mortem, 5 taken in March, 1270, before J. le Monye, escheator 
of the King on this side Trent, upon the death of Roger Bigot, late Earl of Norfolk, the 
jury deposed that the aforesaid Earl held the town of Bungay, with its castle and 
manor, of the Earl of Warwick, by the service of one knight's fee. They further 
declared that the said Roger had rents in the aforesaid town, paid by free-tenants, to 
the amount of 10. 7*. 0^. 

A few of the returns at this inquisition are transcribed, to show the value of property 
and the state of the town at this period. 

1 Rot. Pip. 5 Hen. II. 2 Oblata. 1 John, m. 1. 3 Blomefield. "Id. 54 Hen. III. No. 25. 


The lord's arable land let at Qd. per acre, producing a rental of 4. 10*. The 
meadows were worth 2s. per acre, and the marshes Qd. The woods paid 3, and the 
underwood 10*., while an alder-ground yielded 54*. yearly. There were then in the 
town a water-mill, "quoddain molend: aquaticum," which let for 4 marks; and two 
wind-mills, which produced a rental of 40*. The lord was also entitled to " works," 
or rent paid by labour, to a very considerable extent. 

" Sunt ibi opera yemalia -4 et xxxij unde quodlibet opus valet ob. xli s . iiij rf . 

" Sunt ibi opera estivalia 4 et H et valet quodlibet opus ob. Ixiij*. iiij rf . 

" Sunt ibi opera autumpnalia M et Ix unde quodlibet opus valet j rf . . . . cv s . 

" Sunt ibi precarise aututnpnal : ~ unde quodlibet operatic valet ] d . . . . xiij*. iiij rf . 

" Sunt ibi arurae carucarum " unde quodlibet arura valet iij rf . .... xxx'." 

Pleas and perquisites produced vj*. and viij rf . per annum. The jury further found 
that there were two fairs which yielded annually 4. 13*. 4(/., and a market, the profits 
of which amounted to 6. 13*. 4d. Although Hugh le Bigot gave the King, as 
w r e have before seen, forty marks in the year 1199 for an extension of privileges at 
his fair, which was now held twice a year, it would seem that these fairs were not 
granted by charter, but originated from the ancient wakes that were annually held 
on festival days, observed by the Romish Church in honour of saints. 6 The Bungay 
May -fair, now held on the 14th of that month, was originally kept on the 3rd, which 
day is celebrated by the Romish Church in memory of the ' Invention of the Cross ' 
by Helena, the mother of Constantine ; and thus, though the conventual church at 
Bungay was dedicated to St. Mary, the nunnery was founded in honour of the Holy 
Cross ; and the 14th of September, on which day the autumn fair is held, is a festival 
of the same church, kept in memory of the Holy Cross, which Helena had left in 
Jerusalem, being recovered by the Emperor Heraclius out of the hands of Cosroes, King 
of Persia. 7 

In the reign of Edward I., Roger Bigot granted to his nephew, Sir John le Bigot, a 
lordship, paying to him for all suits and services, a bearded arrow, yearly. The grant is 
dated at Bungay. 

In 1352, the jury for the Hundred of Earsham presented, that the inhabitants of 
Bungay used, time out of mind, to repair the bridges between Bungay in Suffolk, and 
Ditchingham and Earsham in Norfolk. 8 This heavy charge heavy as borne by the 
town alone could relate to the two bridges only which cross the principal stream 
of the Waveney ; but how long it continued to be thus burdened does not appear. 
The town was certainly relieved from this sole charge in the eighteenth century, for in 

6 Jermyn MSS. 7 Wheatly on the Common Prayer. 8 Blomefield. 

VOL. I. Q 


an old parish book belonging to Earsham is the following entry. " 1737. Nov. llth, 
paid to William Colings for building the bridge between Bungay and Earsham, 17 ; 
but the town had 5 from the county 12." This bridge is called " Cock-bridge " 
in old writings, from a public-house which formerly stood by it, on the site of the 
residence of the late John Scott, Esq. 

By an inquisitio post mortem, taken in the twenty -first of Edward III., of the goods 
and chattels of Edward do Montacute, it was returned, that he held the manor of 
Hungav, &c., and that there were in the said town a market and two fairs, which 
yielded annually a rental of 31. 10,9., and that Bungay had then four water-mills and 
two wind-mills. In 13S2, the value of the earl's right of free-fishery in the river 
\Vaveney was estimated at 3 s . and 4". per annum. 9 The Earl, William de Ufford, 
who was then Lord of Bungay, had an annual rental paid in kind, of 60 cocks, valued 
at ."/. 500 eggs at Easter, valued at 15 rf . xvij opera ad brasium faciend; or 17 days' 
\\ork, assisting to brew the castle ale, valued at 7 s . l d . ; price of each work 5 d . xxvj 
carragia fa-ni et bladi, or carting the lord's hay and corn, valued at 2 s . ll d . ; price of 
each carting l rf . xxx opera cassator: val: p: an: x rf . Item capatagia ibid: val: p: an: 
xij''. Falcagia, or mowing the lord's crops, valent communibus annis xij d . 10 

In 1401, Robert Gonshill, Knt., possessed at the day of his death, the manor and 
burgh of Bungay, held of the King in capite, in right of Elizabeth, Duchess of Norfolk, 
lately his wife, who held them in dower of Thomas, late Duke of Norfolk ; and Thomas 
Beaufort, late Duke of Exeter, held a third part of a knight's fee in South Elmham, 
Wisset, Mcttinghani, and Bungay. 11 

In 142 s , the opinions of Wickliffe, the "morning star of the Reformation," had 
extended to Bungay, and gained many proselytes there ; for in that year, King Henry 
the fith sent a commission, directed to "John Executour of Colchester Castle," for the 
apprehension of all persons guilty of heresy ; in virtue of which commission he attached 
six persons in the town of Bungay, and committed them to W r illiam Day and William 
Roc, constables of that town, to be sent within ten days, under safe custody, to Norwich 
Castle. John Spire, of Bungay, Bartholomew Monk, of Earsham, and nine or ten other 
inhabitants of that village, were also apprehended ; " some of whom suffered severely, 
being obliged to save themselves from the torture of death by abjuring : sustaining such 
cruel penance as pleased the then Bishop of Norwich and his Chancellor to lay upon 
them." 12 The Bishop of Norwich recorded as the zealous coadjutor of the Chancellor 
in his work of persecution, was William Alnwick, more favourably known to us as the 
architect of the noble west window of his cathedral. 

9 Inq. p. mort. 5 Ric. II. No. 57. "' Esch. 5 Ric. II., Harl. MSS. 

11 Inq. p. mort. 5 Hen. VI. No. 56. 12 Fox, pp. 660, 661. 


Upon the death of John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, in 1475, without issue male, 
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, the second son of Edward IV., afterwards murdered 
in the Tower of London, was created Duke of Norfolk, and betrothed to Anne, the 
daughter and heiress of the late Duke. She was then a ward of the King. In 1477 it 
was agreed, in consequence of this intended marriage, that " whereas Elizabeth Duchesse 
of Norff. late Wif to the seid John late Due of Norff. fader to the seid Anne after the 
decesse of the same John late Due was entitled to dyvers and many grete castelles 
nianers lordshippes and other possessions and reversions of thenheritaunce of the same 
late Due as well by reason of her joyntour as of her dower : The same Elizabeth 
duchesse forasmoche as the King oure Soveraine Lord havyng the warde of Anne 
doughter and heire of the same late Due of Norff. entendid to marie the seid Anne his 
warde to the seid Richard Due of Yorke and Norff. ; the same Elizabeth duchesse 
remembring the Kings excellent grace so disposed to the grettest honoure well and 
avaunsement of the seid Anne, and of her self for the pleasire of his highncsse and for 
and to the well of the forseid noble due of Yorke and Norff. and Anne her doughter, 
graunted and agreed to forbore and leve grete parte of that to hir birlongid of hir seid 
joyntour and dower of thenheritaunce of the seid late Due her husbond and to take and 
hold her content with a lesse parte therof in recompense of all the remenaunt. 
Wherupon it was appointed bitwcne the Kyng our Soverain lord and the seid duchesse 
of Norff. that the same duchesse in full satisfaction and recompense of and for all her 
joyntour and dower shuld have possede and enjoye the castelles lordshippes maners 
hundredes and half hundredes feires and marketts and other things folowing with 
thappurtenaunce, that is to seie, castelles lordshippes and maners of Bungey Erie 
Stonham Erie Soham Donyngworth Hollesley with Sutton Cratfeld Stavcrton and 
Bromeswall Walton with Tremley and Hoc with thappurtenaunces in the Shire of Suff. 

And by the same auctorite it is ordeywd and enacted that alle the same castelles 
lordshippes maners hundreds and half hundreds feires and marketts with thappur- 
tenaunces after the deceas of the same Elizabeth duchesse of Norff. and of the seid Anne 
shall remayn to the seid Richard due of Yorke and Norff. to have to hym for terme of 
his lyf." 13 

After the murder of the young Duke of York and Norfolk, and the death of his 
infant betrothed wife, John Howard was created Duke of Norfolk. He was the Jockey 
of Norfolk, slain at Bosworth in 1485. Bungay Castle and manors were thus again 
re-conveyed to the ancient line, and followed their fluctuating fortunes, till the reign of 

13 Rot. Parl. 


Queen Elizabeth, when, upon attainder of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, the manors of 
Bungay reverted to the Crown. By letters patent of James I., dated at Westminster in 
1602, that King gave to his faithful councellor, Thomas, Lord Howard, Baron of 
Waldon, and Henry Howard, brother of Thomas, late Duke of Norfolk, and son of 
Henry, late Earl of Surrey, and their heirs, the several manors of Ditchingham, &c., in 
Norfolk, and the castle, soke, and manor of Bungay, &c., in Suffolk ; by which grant 
each of them was seized of a moiety. All which premises they divided by indenture, 
dated 13th of May following. Amongst others, the manor of Bungay was assigned to 
Henry, Earl of Northampton, and his heirs; of which he died seized in 1613. It 
descended to Thomas, Earl of Anindel and Surrey, who was restored in blood, March 
the l!)th, 1002, as cousin and next heir, then aged 25 years; he being the son of 
Philip, late Earl of Anindel and Surrey, deceased, son and heir of Thomas, late Duke of 
Norfolk, and eldest brother of the said Henry, late Earl of Northampton. This 
nobleman's grandson, Thomas Howard, was restored to the dukedom, December 29th, 
1660, with whose successors the manors of Bungay remain. 

The following marvellous relation of a ' Tempeste in Suffolke ' is copied from a 
scarce tract in the British Museum, and the events recorded are mentioned by Stowe, 
in his additions to llolinshed's Chronicles. 

" TEMVESTE IN SUFFOLKE. On Sundaie the fourth of August, between the hours of nine and ten 
of the clocke in the forenoone, whitest the Minister was reading of the second lesson in the Parish 
Churche of lililiorovyh, a Towne in Suffolke, a strange and terrible Tempest of Lightning and Thunder 
strake through the wall of the same churche into the ground, almost a yard deepe, drave downe all the 
people on that side above twcntie persons, then renting the wall up to the Vestrie, clefte the doore, and 
returning to the Steeple, rent the timber, brake the Chimes, and fled towards BONGIE, a Towne six miles 
off. The people that were striken downe were found grovelling more than halfe an houre after, wherof, 
one man more than fortie yeares, and a boie of fifteene yeares old were found starke dead : the others 
were scorched. The same, or the like flash of Lightning and cracks of Thunder rent the Parish Church 
of BONGIE, nine miles from Norwich, wroong insunder the wiers and wheels of the Clocke, singd two 
men which sat in the Belfreie, when the others were at the procession or suffrages, and scorched another 
which hardlie escaped." 

In the title of the original is a rude cut of a BLACK DOG. 

" A STRAUNGE and terrible Wander wrought very late in the parish Churche of BONGAY, a Town of 
no great distance from the Citie of Norwich, namely the fourth of this August in the yeere of our Lord 
1577, in a great tempest of violent raine, lightning and thunder, the like whereof hath been seldome 
seene. With the appeerance of an horrible-shaped THING, sensibly perceived of the people then and 
there assembled. Drawen into a plain method according to the written copye by ABRAHAM FLEMING." 

Then follows a preface to the reader, too long to insert, but concluding with the 
assurance that the narration is grounded upon truth, and, therefore, not only worthy the 
writing and publishing, but also the hearing and considering. 



" SUNDAY, being the fourthe of this August, in ye yeer of our Lord 1577, to the amazing and 
singular astonishment of the present beholders, and absent hearers, at a certain towne called BONGAY, 
not past tenne miles from the citie of NORWICHE, there fell from Heaven an exceeding great and terrible 
tempeste sodein and violent, between nine of the clock in the morning, and tenne of the day aforesaid. 

" This tempest took beginning with a rain, which fel with a wonderful force, with no lesse violence 
than abundance which made the storme so muche the more extrem and terrible. 

" This tempest was not simply of rain, but also of lightning, and thunder, the flashing of the one 
wherof was so rare and vehement, and the roaring noise of the other so forceable and violent, that 
it made not only people perplexed in minde and at their wits end, but ministered such strange and 
unaccustomed cause of feare to be conceived, that dumb creatures with ye horrour of that which fortuned, 
were exceedingly disquieted, and senselesse things void of all life and feeling shook and trembled. 

" Therr werr assembled at the same season, to hear divine service and common prayer, according to 
order, in the Parish Churche of the said towne of BONGAY, the people thereabouts inhabiting, who were 
witnesses of the straungenesse, the carenesse, and sodeuesse of the storme, consisting of rame violently 
falling, fearful flashes of lightning, and terrible cracks of thunder, which came with such unwonted force 
and power, that to the perceiving of the people, at the time and in the place above named, assembled, the 
Church did as it were quake and stagger, which struck into the harts of those that were present, such a 
sore and sodain feare, that they were in a manner robbed of their right wits. 

" Immediately herrupon, there appeared in a most horrible similitude and likenesse to the con- 
gregation, then and there present, A DOG as they might discerne it, of a BLACK COLOUR; at the sight 
wherof, together with the fearful flashes of fire then were scene, moved such admiration in the minds of 
the assemblie, that they thought doomes day was alread'y come. 

" This BLACK DOG, or the Divel in such a likenesse (God hee knoweth all who worketh all) running 
all along down the body of the Church with great swiftnesse, and incredible haste, among the people, in 
a visible forme and shape, passed between two persons, as they were kneeling upon their knees, and 
occupied in prayer as it seemed, wrung the necks of them bothe at one instant clene backward, insomuche 
that even in a moment where they kneeled they stra'gely dyed. 

" This is a wonderful example of God's wrath, no doubt to terrifie us, that we might feare him for his 
justice, or putting back our footsteps from the pathes of sinne, to love him for his mercy. 

" To our matter again. There was at ye same time another WUNDER wrought : for the same BLACK 
DOG, still continuing and remaining in one and the self-same shape, passing by an other man of the 
congregation in the Church, gave him such a gripe in the back, that therewith all he was presently 
drawen togither and shrunk up, as it were a piece of lether scorched in a hot fire ; or at the mouth of a 
purse or bag, drawen togither with a string ; the man, albeit he was in so straunge a taking, dyed not, 
but, as it is thought, is yet alive : whiche thing is mervellous in the eyes of men, and offereth muche 
matter of amasing the minde. 

" Moreover, and beside this, the dark of the Church being occupied in cleansing the gutter of 
the Church, with a violent clap of thunder was smitten downe, and beside his fall, had no further harme : 
unto whom beeing all amased, this straunge shape, wherof we have before spoken, appeared, howbeit he 
escaped without daunger ; which might, peradventure, seem to sound against trueth, and to be a thing 
incredible ; but let us leave thus, or judge thus, and cry out with the prophet, O Domine, &c. ! O Lord, 
how wonderful art thou in all thy works ! 

" At the time that these things in this order happened, the Rector, or Curate, of the Church, being 


partaker of the peoplees perplexitie, seeing what was seen and done, comforted the people, and exhorted 
them to prayer, whose counsell, in such extreme distresse, they followed, and prayed to God as they were 
assembled togither, &c." 

The narration concludes with a "necessary prayer" to God, to shield those who 
flee to him for succour " against all manner of annoyances whatsoever." 

This strange relation was " imprinted at London by Frauncis Godly, dwelling at the 
west end of Paules." , 

The register books of St. Mary's parish church give a far less marvellous relation of 
this tempest, which was, no doubt, even when divested of fiction, a very awful storm. 
The following is a copy. 

" 1577. John Fuller and Adam Walker slayne in the tempest, in the belfry, in the 
tyme of prayer, upon the Lord's day, y e iiij th of August." 

On the 2nd of September, 1652, Bungay sustained considerable injury by a fire; 
connected with which calamity is the following extract from a parish record entitled 
' Wingfield's Account-book.' 

"There was ad the last yere's accoumpt in readye money 20. 16s. Id. ib: and 
15*. "id. which rested to poore scholars then that was locked upp in a box with the 
bonds and other wrightings belonginge to this accoumpte ; the box haveinge twoe lockes, 
and the twoe primer fteoffees keepinge the scverall keyes ; which box was then at the 
house of George Gooch, gent., nowe deceased ; the then primer ffeoffee. And by reason 
of a sudden and lamentable ffier happeneinge to be upon the second daye of September, 
1652, nere the dwellinge-house of the said George, and burnt downe his out-houses, by 
reason of which hee was inforced to have his goods removed out of his head-house, 
amongcst which this box was removed, and by some idle and wretched person or 
persons in the sadd and lamentable tyme of the tier the cover of the box was brooken ; 
the lockes continuendinge locked. But the money taken out and carryed awaye." 

In the year 1669, the twenty-second of Charles II., an Act of Parliament was 
obtained to render the river Waveney navigable for barges up to this town, by the 
means of locks ; four of which have, accordingly, been constructed between Barsham 
and Bungay. 

On the 1st of March, 1688, a fire, of calamitous extent, broke out in Bungay about 
sun-rise, in a small uninhabited tenement, " which spread itself so irresistibly, that in 
four hours the flames consumed the whole town except one small street and a few 
houses ; and destroyed one of the churches, being a large and magnificent building, 
together with a free-school, and three alms-houses ; two eminent market crosses, and 
the dwelling-houses of one hundred and ninety families ; many brewing offices, shops, 
warehouses, barns, and other houses, near four hundred in number ; in which most of 
the sufferers, through the sudden and violent rage of the flames, lost all their house- 


hold-stuff, stock, goods, and substance : the loss amounting to 29,898, and up- 

A brief to collect money in church, as well as from door to door, in aid of the 
sufferers from this fire, was granted on the 7th of June following, being the first year of 
the reign of William and Mary. The original brief, engrossed on parchment, is now in 
the possession of John B. Scott, Esq., of Bungay, a gentleman of considerable archaeolo- 
gical taste and knowledge, to whom the writer is indebted for much information 
respecting the present article. The brief for this fire is thus endorsed : " Collected at 
Deepham cum Hackford, in the county of Norfolk, the sum of 19 s and S d ." 

Mr. G. Baker, of Bungay, has an original receipt given to the inhabitants of 
Earsham for a collection made by them on the same account. 

"Aprill the 4th, 1689. 

" Rece then of the inhabitants of Earsham, the sume of six fforty poundes and fower 
pence, being monyes given and bestowed towards the rcleifc of the distressed sufferers 
by reason of the late dreadfull fire at Bungay, in the county of Suff: 

" I say rec'cl by me, 


In the overseers' book of accounts of receipts and expenditure for the parish of 
Bungay St. Mary, from Easter, 1GSS, to Michaelmas, 1720, there occurs the following 
marginal entry: " 168S. In this year was that dreadful fire, which destroyed the howses 
and goods of all the persons on charged, besides the church of St. Mary's burned to the 
ground, with the steeple, and melted six fine bells, and did some damniage to the church 
of St. Trinity, to y loss of about thirty thousand pounds." u 

The year 1688, in which this fire occurred, was also that in which the Revolution 
took place, in favour of the Prince of Orange ; and tradition reports that the house in 
which it broke out was designedly set on fire by the papists : whence arose the 
proverbial saying, when a very wicked and malicious man is intended to be represented, 
that he is " as big a rogue as burnt Bungay." 15 A very ancient house, standing 
opposite to St. Mary's church, and a few others, escaped the flames. Of these, 
the older part of a good mansion, lately in the possession of Mr. Richard Mann, but at 
that time the property of Gregory Clarke, who was then rebuilding it, was saved from 
the flames by his employing the workmen to keep wet blankets over the roof, which had 
just been put on. 

On the 4th of October, 1689, the town, not yet recovered from the destructive 
effects of the fire, was injured by the violence of an opposite element. On that day it 

MSS. pen. John B. Scott, Esq. 15 Jermyn MSS. 


began to rain towards night, and continued without intermission, with the exception of 
a few hours on the 6th, till the 10th, at noon; which caused such a rage of waters as 
overflowed the lower part of the city of Norwich, and broke down the bridges at 
Bungay. 16 

About the year 1700, a scheme was projected by Mr. King, an apothecary of 
Bungay, to bring this town into notice as a bathing and watering-place ; the chalybeate 
spring in the old castle having been considered by him to possess medicinal properties 
of great value. In furtherance of his plan, Mr. King built a bath-house at Earsham, a 
village in Norfolk, on the opposite bank of the Waveney ; near which he planted a 
vineyard, surrounded by agreeable walks. In 1734, the following advertisement, 
apprising the public of his undertaking, was inserted in the Gentleman's Magazine. 17 
" Mr. King, Apothecary in the pleasant town of Bungay, in Suffolk, has finished, after 
Sir John Floycr's plan, a cold bath there, in a delightful situation and healthful air : 
every thing is compleatly and handsomely provided for the reception of such gentlemen 
and ladies as shall be advised, either to the use of the cold bath, or of mineral waters, 
of which there is an excellent sort at that place." 

Mr. King shortly afterwards published a pamphlet entitled ' An Essay on Hot and 
Cold Bathing,' from which I cannot but insert an extract, as a specimen of flowery 
language of the very richest kind. Speaking of the bath-house, and its surrounding 
attractions, it is said : " Those lovely hills, which incircle the flowery plain, are 
variegated with all that can ravish the astonished sight. They arise from the winding 
mazes of the river Wavcncy, enriched with the utmost variety the watry element is 
capable of producing. Upon the neck of this peninsula, the castle and town of Bungay, 
(now startled at its approaching grandeur,) is situated on a pleasing ascent to view the 
pride of nature on the other side, which the goddesses have chose for their earthly 
paradise ; where the sun, at its first appearance, makes a kindly visit to a steep and 
fertile vineyard, richly stored with the choicest plants from Burgundy, Champaigne, 
Provence, and whatever the East can furnish us with. Near the bottom of this is 
placed the grotto, or bath itself, beautified on one side with oziers, groves, and meadows ; 
on the other with gardens, fruits, shady walks, and all the decorations of a rural 
innocence. The building is designedly plain and neat ; because the least attempt of 
artful magnificence would, by alluring the eyes of strangers, deprive them of those 
profuse pleasures which nature has already provided. As to the bathing, there is 
a mixture of all that England, Paris, or Rome could ever boast of : no one is refused a 
kind reception : honour and generosity reigns throughout the whole ; the trophies of 
the poor invite the rich, and their more dazzling assemblies compel the former." 

16 Blomefield. 1? Vol. iv. p. 224. 


There is a view of the vineyard and bath-house appended to Mr. King's amusing 
book, engraved in the formal style of the day. The work is rather scarce, and well 
deserves a place in the collections of the curious, who feel interested in Bungay and its 
vicinity. Mr. King's scheme proved abortive ; but the bath-house and its agreeable 
scenery continued for many years to be the occasional resort of the neighbouring 

In 1737, Owen Thirkettle, of Bungay Trinity, gave 50 for a clock and chimes, 
which were placed in the tower of St. Mary's Church. 

In 1757, Bungay experienced the shock of an earthquake, as we learn from a 
London Magazine for that year. " Norwich, January 1 5th. On Monday last, between 
2 and 3 in the morning, we had a slight shock of an earthquake, preceded by si. 
rumbling noise in the air. As it happened at the time when the generality of people 
were sound asleep, it was not perceived by many ; but those that were awake, and the 
few persons that were by, were very sensible of it. It was likewise felt at Yarmouth, 
Diss, South Walsham, Loddon, Bungay, &c." 

Among the manuscripts of the late Mr. Ashby, now in the possession of John B. 
Scott, Esq., it is stated that the sum of 86. 12s. 5f7. was subscribed by the town 
of Bungay towards the relief of the Dutch sailors wounded at the naval action on 
Camperdown in 1797, a noble tribute of charity in behalf of a brave but fallen foe. 

In June, 1810, the old corn-cross was taken down, and the lead sold for 26s. and 
6d. per hundred weight. The timber and other materials fetched 57. The entire 
cross was sold for 135. 18s. 2d., the net produce being 125. 5s. Id. 18 This 
produce was appropriated to the sinking of a well, and erecting a pump near the spot. 
Eight white stones are placed at the several angles where the cross stood, to mark the 
boundary. The lord of the manor formerly held his courts within it. There is 
a long letter, dated Bungay, January 16th, and signed Amicus, in the Gentleman's 
Magazine, vol. Ixx., for 1810, about the taking down of this cross. 

A Saint Nicholas' token was found on the castle hills in the year 1820. It came 
into the possession of Mr. J. Ashby, who having lent it to a gentleman to take an 
impression from it, it was, by being placed in a mangle, so flattened that the figures 
and inscription were no longer discernible. A copy of it, however, \vas taken before 
this accident occurred, which is now in the hands of John B. Scott, Esq. A leaden 
Bulla of Celestine III., in excellent preservation, who was Pope from the year 1191 
to 1198, was also discovered in 1824 in a meadow by the castle hills, and is now in 
the possession of Mr. G. Baker, whose valuable and extensive collection of coins and 
medals is equalled by few in any country town of the kingdom. 

18 MSS. Ashby, pen. John B. Scott. 

VOL. I. B 


In 1826, in sinking a well in the Earsham-street, near the castle, Mr. Henry 
Doughton found two Roman coins ; one of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, 1 : brass ; and 
the other of Faustina, 2 : brass. 

In the same year, Mr. T. Utting, on removing some fragments of the castle wall, 
which had fallen into his garden, found a rude leaden seal inscribed S: G: ROB: 
BLOKOO ; and in the following year, a coin of Gordianus Pius, who was assassinated in 
the East, A.D. 244, was discovered in the garden of Mrs. Barlee, near Duke's-bridge. 

A silver penny of Offa, King of Mercia, with the name of his moneyer, ' Othelres,' 
was dug up, in an osier-ground near the castle ramparts, in 1813, and was lately in the 
collection of Mr. G. Baker, who is also in possession of an antique spur, found on 
the common. 

A hermitage, with a small chapel adjoining, was founded at an early period near 
the cast end of the bridge, and on the south side of the river. It was demolished in 
1733. 19 When we surveyed this place, says Mr. Jermyn, some years ago, (Feb. 5, 
1798,) we could discover then only a few of the large stones near the river, which 
originally had formed part of the foundation of the north gable of this ancient building, 
and which gable end, as we were informed, was standing a few years ago. 20 

Of the buildings of the Friars Minorites or Franciscans in this town it will be 
impossible to speak with any certainty, when even the existence of such an order here is 
a matter of dispute. Tradition asserts that there was an establishment of this fraternity 
in Bnngay, and some old walls at the entrance of the Bridge-street have been pointed 
out as belonging to it, but Tanner says nothing to confirm this ; neither is it mentioned 
by the Index Monasticus, nor any other authority. 

St. John's Hospital stood by the road leading from the town towards Halesworth, 
and some enclosures thereabouts are still called St. John's Fields. It was, probably, a 
leper-house, because the Vicar of Trinity has a piece of land called the Spital. 

The ancient chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, which is mentioned in old deeds as 
standing to the south of the town, has a few old walls left to determine its site. These 
are now incorporated into a modern house, near the residence of the late General Kelso. 
A flattened arch, with its water-tables and accompaniments, bespeaks its antiquity. 

The old house in the Ollands-street, already mentioned, which escaped the fire in 
1688, is supposed by many to have been the Infirmary attached to the Nunnery; and 
by others considered as an Hostelry for the accommodation of strangers and pilgrims 
resorting to the adjacent religious establishment. Whatever may have been its appro- 
priation, it is certainly as old as the latter part of the fifteenth century, and was a 
private house in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. An old mantel-piece of that era, now in 

' Townreeve's Books. 20 Jermyn MSS. 


the house of Mr. G. Baker, has the arms of Bedingfeld, with a crescent, as marking a 
junior branch, in one of its compartments ; and in a corresponding position was the 
cognizance of D'Oyley. John Duke, Esq., who was living in Bungay in 1550, is 
supposed to have dwelt here. The front of this venerable relic has been barbarized of 
late by the removal of many of its ancient features, and the substitution of modern doors 
and windows ; but the upper story retains some of its original ornaments. On the 
projecting sills of the windows are various devices, among which the feats of Samson 
are conspicuous. The slaughter of the Philistines, and the treachery of Delilah, are 
clearly illustrated ; but the exploits of a child leading two winged, but seemingly 
harmless dragons, which are said to represent the infant Hercules strangling the 
serpents, are not so satisfactorily portrayed. The sill of a window, now removed, 
showed the fate of Actaeon devoured by his dogs. 

As to the original appropriation of this mansion, I can offer nothing definitive, but 
my impression is, that it was always a private residence. It was not likely to have been 
the Infirmary of a society of religious females, because it stood without the walls of their 
establishment ; and from the carving on one of the window sills, which shows besides 
the bust of the Virgin Mary an escutcheon bearing a merchant's mark, I conclude the 
builder or occupier to have been a wealthy tradesman of Bungay. 

Ovitney Common is a large extra -parochial tract of meadows, lying on the north of 
the town, and containing 402 acres. It was formerly the bed of the Waveney, when 
its waters flowed in a more expanded stream ; and must have been covered with sea- 
water at some remote period, as marine shells have been occasionally found beneath its 
soil. It is under the management of Commonreeves. In 1707, the lord of the manor 
and the commoners agreed to reduce the commonages, or right of depasturing cattle 
thereon, from five to three beasts; and in 1845, there were only 150 commonages, or 
300 beast-goings. It is encompassed by the river Waveney, except on its south side, 
where it is skirted by the town, from which it was cut off in ancient times by a deep 
ditch, extending east and west to the two bends of the river. This ditch has been 
considered as a Roman work, but I think there is no positive evidence of this ; and it 
might have been dug by the Bigots, who conveyed the materials so obtained to raise the 
huge barriers of earth around their castle. It insulated the common, and materially 
strengthened the defences of their fortress on the north. 

The town pest-house was formerly situated here, and was pulled down in 1771, when 
the materials were sold for 40. The foundations of it are yet visible. 

The land to the south of the town, called the Ollands, is written in old deeds the 
Hollands, and the Off-lands, and is also described, in the reign of Edward III., as the 
" campum de Ilketshall." 

Bungay is divided into two districts, called Bungay Burgh, and Bungay Boyscott, 


meaning the town and hamlet, without any reference to the two parishes. The taxes 
upon these divisions have long been separately levied, as will be seen on referring to the 
Introduction of this work, at pages xxvii. and xxviii. 

Before the dissolution of the nunnery, there were two crosses in this town, one of 
which stood near the site of the vicarage-house of Trinity parish, and the other on 
the spot now occupied by the lord's pound. The remains of the latter were visible 
in 1770. 

In the year 1840, a skeleton was discovered near Duke's-bridge House, carefully 
embedded in clay, apparently for its preservation. It was concluded to be the remains 
of a person whom the times rendered it necessary to conceal. Duke's-bridge House, 
now the residence and property of Mrs. Barlee, is considered to have taken its name 
from the ancient family of Duke, who had possessions in Bungay at an early period. 
John Duke, of Bungay, devised by his will, dated April 24th, 1559, certain lands and 
tenements to the poor belonging to Trinity parish ; but there is no documentary evidence 
to show that any of the family was ever possessed of the estate in question. It more 
probably took its name from the Dukes of Norfolk, as it is held, with its curtilage of 
1 acres, in free-tenure, under the Howards, as lords of the manor of Bungay Soke. 
Sir Edward Kerrison is the owner of the Duke's-bridge farm, which his father purchased 
of the late Rev. Mr. Williams ; and Mr. William Denny is the proprietor and occupier 
of the Duke's farm, which he purchased of Charles, Duke of Norfolk, under the Act of 
Parliament which His Grace obtained to sell property in Bungay, to purchase at 
Arundel. The tithes of this farm have been awarded to Mr. Denny, and, therefore, 
it was probably part of the Bungay Priory lands, and could never have belonged to the 
Duke family. 21 

Bungay possesses the privilege of sending two pensioners to Greenwich Hospital, in 
case they are not nominated by Shotesham, in Norfolk, and there are instances on record 
where the town has availed itself of this provision. 

Stow Park is in the Duke of Norfolk's manor of Bungay Soke. At an inquisition, 
taken at Ipswich on the llth of January, 1307, thirty-fifth of Edward I., when Roger 
Bigot died, it was said, " Item est ibidem Parcus cum feris, qui vocatur Stowe Park, et 
valet herbagium p: an: v*. viij d ., et subbosco ibid nihil." In the same year, Stow-fen, 
now an extra-parochial common of about 88 acres, is called ' Alnetum,' or an alder- 
ground. It appears from deeds that the Duke of Norfolk claimed Stow Park as his 
freehold, and as a park belonging to the manor of Bungay Soke, at a much later period. 
In the account of John Hardinge, bailiff of the manor in the 38th of Henry VIII., 
he claims " vi*. viij'*. of the firme herbage of the park there, called Stowe Park, soe 

?' Ex inform. Mrs. Barlee, 


let to John Brice for the terme of ten yeares, this yere, &c." Arthur Everard, Esq., 
and his predecessors, always claimed to hold it as their copyhold, but have not been 
admitted thereto successively. 22 

There must have been a residence of considerable importance in this park at an 
early period, for John Scott, Esq., has collected many architectural details from its 
enclosures ; though the existence of such a building is not shown by any deeds or 
charters which have come under my notice. Among the fragments obtained hence are 
some capitals of wrought freestone, of a Norman character, which appear to have 
belonged to a chapel. 

The manor of Bardolph Ilketshall extends into the parish of Bungay Trinity, and 
belongs to Sir Windham Bailing, Bart., of Earsham Hall, whose family were formerly 
residents in Bungay. In the year 1718, the name of John Balling occurs in the town 

The mill on the Flixton road was removed a few years since to the spot on which it 
now stands from a site nearer the town. It is called in writings of Queen Elizabeth's 
time, " the mill of the Lord of Bardolph." 

Part of Trinity parish lies by the side of the old Roman road called Stone-street, at 
the distance of about five miles from the town. As it is encompassed by the parish of 
St. Laurence Ilketshall, it was probably a member of that portion of the manor of 
Bardolph which extended into Bungay. 


Bungay Castle, as a stronghold, dates its origin from a period very little posterior 
to the Norman Conquest ; but whether it was built by Roger Bigot, or his immediate 
successor, is unknown. It was certainly a formidable fortress in the time of PI ugh 
Bigot, whose perjury and adherence to the cause of Stephen, mainly contributed to 
place that chieftain on the English throne. Bigot, rewarded for his services with the 
Earldom of Norfolk, continued the firm adherent of the reigning monarch till the year 
1140; when, conceiving himself ill used by Stephen, and looking, probably, for further 
aggrandizement at a time when, as the Saxon Chronicle tells us, " all was dissention, 
and evil and rapine," he openly espoused the cause of the Empress Matilda. Bigot 
relied on his possessions here and the strength of his castle ; but Stephen marched 
speedily into Suffolk, and reduced his stronghold. The ancient writer, who has recorded 
this event, is as brief in his narration as Stephen was prompt in action, and has 
furnished no details of the siege. He dryly informs us of the fact in these concise 

22 Jermyn MSS. 


terms. "Anno 1140. Ad Pentecostem ivit rex cum exercitu suo super Hugonem 
Bigodth in Sudfolc, et cepit castellum de Bunie." 23 Having inflicted this chastisement 
upon his turbulent vassal, Stephen received him again into favour, and restored him his 
Castle of Btingay. 

One of the first acts of Henry II., after his accession to the throne, was to punish 
the adherence of Bigot to the cause of his mother's foe, by depriving him of his dignities 
and castles ; in all of which he was reinstated in 1163. Bigot, however, again deserted 
the interests of his monarch in 1174, and by treaties, privately executed at Paris, united 
his influence with the cause of Henry's rebellious sons. Their insurrection being quelled 
by the valour of Richard de Lacy, the King's general, who defeated Bigot and his 
foreign allies near Bury St. Edmund's, the King advanced into Suffolk with an army, 
determined to execute on him the full measure of his wrath ; and having razed to the 
ground his castle at Walton, and gained possession of that at Framlingham, prepared to 
destroy the last stronghold of this perfidious baron. It was upon retreating to this 
fortress that Bigot expressed to those who attended him his perfect confidence in its 
impregnable strength ; declaring that, " were he in his castle of Bungay, upon the 
waters of Waveney, he would not set a button by the King of Cockney." 24 

The King, however, advanced, and setting down before Bungay Castle, summoned 
it to surrender. Roger Hoveden relates that Bigot had only five hundred soldiers in 
his garrison at this time, and that the men, despairing of any further supply, secretly 
deserted the castle, and left him to make what terms he could with his incensed sovereign. 

There is an old ballad in existence, of considerable merit, which, though not so old 
as the facts it narrates, is probably founded upon traditionary anecdotes connected with 
the conduct of Bigot on this emergency ; and I shall offer no apology for reprinting it. 

" The King has sent for Bigod bold, 

In Essex whereat he lay, 
But lord Bigod laugh'd at his Poursuivant, 

And stoutly thus did say : 

' Where I in my castle of Bungay, 

Upon the river of Waveney, 
I would ne care for the King of Cockney.' 

" Hugh Bigod was Lord of Bungay tower, 

And a merry lord was he, 
So away he rode on his herry-black steed, 

And sung with license and glee, 

' Where I in my castle of Bungay, 

Upon the river of Waveney, 
I would ne care for the King of Cockney.' 

1 Annales Waverlienses. 24 Holinshed ; who, however, doubts the authenticity of the adage. 


" At Ipswich they laugh'd to see how he sped, 

And at Ufford they star'd, I wis, 
But at merry Saxmundham they heard his song, 

And the song he sung was this ; 

' Where I in my castle of Bungay, 

Upon the river of Waveney, 
I would ne care for the King of Cockney.' 

" The Baily he rode and the Baily he ran, 

To catch the gallant Lord Hugh, 
But for every mile the Baily rode, 
The Earl he rode more than two ; 
Saying, ' Where I in my castle of Bungay, 
Upon the river of Waveney, 
I would ne care for the King of Cockney.' 

" When the Baily had ridden to Bramfield oak, 

Sir Hugh was at Ilksall bower ; 
When the Baily had ridden to Ilalesworth cross, 
He was singing in Bungay tower 
' Now that I'm in my castle of Bungay, 
Upon the river of Waveney, 
I will ne care for the King of Cockney.' 

" When the news was brought to London town, 

How Sir Bigod did jest and sing, 
' Say-you to Lord Hew of Norfolk,' 

Said Henry, our English King, 

' Though you be in your castle of Bungay, 

Upon the river of Waveney, 
I'll make you care for the King of Cockney.' 

" King Henry he marshal' d his merry men all, 

And through Suffolk they march'd with speed ; 
And they march'd to Lord Bigod' s castle wall, 

And knock'd at his gate, I rede : 

' Sir Hugh of the castle of Bungay, 

Upon the river Waveney, 
Come, doff your cap to the King of Cockney.' 

" Sir Hughon Bigod, so stout and brave, 

When he heard the King thus say, 
He trembled and shook like a May-mawther, 

And he wished himself away ; 

' Were I out of my castle of Bungay, 

And beyond the river of Waveney, 
I would ne care for the King of Cockney.' 


" Sir Hugh took three-score sacks of gold, 

And flung them over the wall, 
Says, 'go your ways, in the Devil's name, 
Yourself and your merry-men all ! 
But leave me my castle of Bungay, 
Upon the river Waveney, 
And I'll pay my shot to the King of Cockney.' " 

Ancient chroniclers have left us no particulars of this siege, contenting themselves 
with stating that Bigot was fain to capitulate, and with much difficulty obtained his 
pardon upon the payment of one thousand marks, and consenting to have his fortress 
demolished. He soon afterwards went abroad, and joined the Earl of Flanders in an 
expedition to the Holy Land, whence he returned and died in 1177, surviving the 
destruction of his castle and his disgrace only three years. The ruined site of Bungay 
Castle and the honours of the Earldom were restored to Roger Bigot, the son of Earl 
Hugh, by Richard I., in 1189, upon the payment of a further sum of one thousand 
marks. It remained as an untenable fortress till the year 1281, when Roger Bigot 
obtained a license from King Edward I. to embattle his house in the place where the 
castle had stood. The license appears among the patent rolls, " quod Rogerus Ic Bigot, 
Comes Norff., ct Marescallus Angl: possit kerncllarc mansum suum de Bungay." 25 
This was the castle whose ruins are now visible. Bigot endowed his second wife, Alice, 
with this castle and manor ; and having no issue, settled all his castles, towns, manors, 
and hereditaments upon King Edward and his heirs, to the prejudice of his brother, 
John le Bigot ; who, after the Earl's decease, was found to be his next heir, but never, in 
consequence of this surrender, enjoyed the honours, nor any part of his estates. Sir 
Henry Spelman tells us, the Earl disinherited his brother, Sir John, because " that the 
Earl being indebted to him, he w r as too pressing on that account." Upon his death in 
1307, it was returned, that the park at Earsham was well stocked ; and with the fishery, 
a water-mill, and many woods and fens, were kept for the use of the family of Roger 
Bigot, then lord, who was chiefly resident at his adjacent Castle of Bungay. 

In the year 1312, the fifth of Edward II., Thomas de Brotherton, fifth son of the 
late monarch, obtained a charter from the King, in tail general, of all the honours 
formerly enjoyed by Roger Bigot. It is probable, however, that Thomas de Brotherton 
held the castle of Bungay previous to this charter, because, on the 3rd of March, 1310, 
we find the following prohibition of a tournament, proclaimed to be held here, and 
addressed to the Earls, Barons, Knights, and others at Bungay. 

" Rex dilectis et fidelibus suis comitibus, baronibus, militibus, et omnibus aliis apud 
Bungeye ad torneandum hac instanti die Lunae conventuris, salutem. Mandamus vobis 

25 Rot. Pat. m. 20. 


sub forisfactura omnium que nobis forisfacere, poteritis firmiter inhibentes ne die predicto, 
vel alio, apud dictam villam, seu alibi in regno nostro torneare, burdeare, justas facere, 
aventuras quserere, seu alia facta armorum excercere praesumatis, sine nostra licentia 
speciali. Teste Rege apud Westm: iij die Martij." 26 

We learn from Rymer, and other authorities, that in the year 1309, Gaveston, the 
profligate favourite of Edward II., had so inflamed the resentment of the most powerful 
barons, by turning them into ridicule, that his imprudent conduct very soon produced 
its natural consequences, and Gaveston became the object of universal detestation. The 
discontented lords began to draw together, and appointed tournaments in several places, 
as a plausible pretence for their meetings, which were in reality designed for contriving 
the destruction of the favourite. The tournament at Buugay was therefore, without 
doubt, proclaimed for a similar purpose. 

Thomas de Brotherton died in 1338, leaving two daughters, his heiresses ; the eldest 
of whom, Alice, marrying Edward de Montacute, carried the castle of Bungay into that 
family. Their daughter Joan, who was born in this castle on Candlemas-day, 1348, 
married William de Ufford, Earl of Suffolk, who, after the death of Edward de Montacute, 
in the thirty-fifth of Edward III., became owner of Bungay castle in her right. By an 
inquisition, taken after the death of the Earl, who died suddenly of apoplexy, as he was 
ascending the steps of the House of Lords, it was returned that " William de Ufford 
held at the day of his death, ' castrum cum manerio et burgo de Buugay. ' " 27 It is 
probable that William de Ufford resided little at Bungay, because the castle was returned 
in the same inquisition, as old and ruinous, and paying nothing after repairs : " vetus et 
ruinosum, et nichel valet p: an-, ultra repris." This was in the year 1382; but upon 
the Howards obtaining the manor, the castle appears to have received considerable 
attention; for in 1477, the manor and castle w 7 ere returned as yielding, after repairs 
were deducted, 50 per annum : " ultra reprisas L." The castle was, however, shortly 
after, consigned to neglect as a residence. The union of the Roses, and the better 
administration of the laws, no longer rendered it necessary for the nobles of the land to 
immure themselves within gloomy apartments and dingy fortresses ; and the splendour 
of the palace of Kenninghall, built by the " Great Duke of Norfolk," in the reign of 
Henry VIII. , contributed altogether to the desertion of the castle of Bungay. At a later 
period its mined site passed from the Howards by a transfer w r hich I have not discovered ; 
and at the close of the last century belonged to a Mr. Mickleburgh, an inhabitant of 
Bungay. By him it was sold to Mrs. Bonhote, the authoress of a novel entitled ' Bungay 
Castle,' and several similar works, very popular in their day. Mrs. Bonhote fitted up 
the old keep, and made it her occasional summer residence ; but transferred it by a legal 

x De inhibitione torneamenti. Rot. Pat. 3 Ed. II. m. 18. v Escheat, a Ric. II. Harl. MSS. 

VOL. I. 8 



surrender, about the year 1800, to Charles, Duke of Norfolk, who was desirous of 
regaining this fortress of the "Bigot bold," his martial ancestor. 


consist of the external portions of two circular towers, which, in their entire condition, 
embraced a lofty receding gateway, formed by a succession of ribbed arches, acutely 
pointed; and similar in construction to those at Tunbridge and Caernarvon. These 
towers are built solid to the height of the squared stone-work, and contain shafts of 
very small diameter in their upper and habitable portions ; and, which is worthy of 
remark, exhibit neither window nor loophole. They are attached to ruinous walls of an 
octangular ground-plan, enclosing, at the distance of about 30 feet only, a keep, 
measuring 54 feet square ; the walls of which are standing, in places, to the height of 
5 or G yards, and are from 10 to 12 feet in thickness. In the centre of the keep is a 
deep well of strongly impregnated mineral water, now disused. If this water always 
possessed this chalybeate quality, it is difficult to conceive how it could have been appli- 
cable to the daily requirements of the garrison. Detached portions of walls and 
foundations are spread in all directions in the castle grounds. No opinion can be 
formed of the internal arrangements of the keep in its original state. The eye accus- 
tomed to the elegance and conveniences of modern life, can scarcely feel convinced that 


the near descendant of one of England's mightiest monarchs was born within these 
rugged flinty walls. The keep and inner ballium occupy an elevated site, commanding 
the encircling moats and outer defences. These latter consist of prodigious mounds of 
earth, sweeping down to the banks of the Waveney, and may, not improbably, have been 
originally raised by the Romans. Part of these, on the south, was levelled about five or 
six years ago, to form a cattle-market : an intention which has never been carried into 
effect. There is a ditch, now dry, but still deep, to the south, which evidently commu- 
nicated, in ancient days, with the channel of the river, and was probably constructed to 
afford access to small vessels bringing supplies to the garrison. It was defended by the 
embankment, now levelled, which stretched from the marshes beyond it, and swept round 
to the eastern ramparts. The outworks of the castle were continued in this direction, 
along the edge of the hill above the present Bridge-street, and turning, in the form of a 
crescent, to the north and west, enclosed the ground now occupied by the houses on the 
south side of the Earsham- street, terminating at the banks of the river. There was a 
ford near the spot where the Cock-bridge now stands, which, with the entire route through 
the town, must have been completely commanded by the castle. 

The deep ditch, already mentioned, on Outney Common, whether of Roman or 
Norman construction, was still a formidable barrier on the north, as it cut off all hostile 
approaches in that direction. The license, therefore, of Edward I. to Roger Bigot, to 
kernellate or embattle his residence, seems to have been carried to its utmost extent ; 
for if this later edifice were less formidable than the boasted fortress of his turbulent 
ancestor, it must have been, nevertheless, a stronghold of no ordinary character. 

There is a tradition, yet cherished by the lovers of the marvellous, that a secret 
passage afforded communication between this castle and that of Mettingham. It 
originated, probably, in the existence of a subterraneous vault near the portal towers, 
still open, and accessible by the removal of a few boards. At no period in the annals 
of Bungay Castle could such a passage have been constructed, as the two fortresses 
always appertained to opposite interests. 


In the year 1160, when the passion for building and endowing monasteries had 
attained its height, Roger de Glanville and the Countess Gundreda his wife, relict 
of Roger Bigot, laid the foundations of a Benedictine Nunnery at Bungay ; dedicating 
its church to Saint Mary, and the house to the honour of God and the Holy Cross. 
The site selected for this establishment was a plain piece of ground, occupying the 
summit of a gentle rise, and lying contiguous to the eastern ramparts of the 


In providing for the temporal wants of their monastery, the noble founders appear 
remarkably sparing of their own revenues ; appropriating the tithes of no less than six 
of the neighbouring churches to the maintenance of its inmates. Thus, while their own 
worldly substance remained undiminished, the secular clergy, for miles around, were 
impoverished, and their cures degraded into poor vicarages, or stipendiary curacies ; an 
injustice, and injury to the cause of religion, which seven succeeding centuries have 
viewed with indifference and failed to redress. The benefices thus appropriated were 
those of Mettingham, St. Andrew, St. Laurence, and St. Margaret Ilketshall, and two 
out of the three which Saxon piety had founded in the town, St. Mary and St. Thomas. 
The church of Roughton, in Norfolk, a rectory valued at eighteen marks, was likewise 
appropriated, and its revenues added to their gifts. To these, and the scanty private 
donations of the founders, were speedily added the benefactions of the noble and 
the pious, as is shown by the long and interesting charter of Henry II., who confirmed 
them to the nuns in the nineteenth of his reign. 28 

Roger Bigot, with a zeal singularly displayed by the roughest and most licentious 
chieftains of the day, granted them his water-mill at AVangford, 29 and confirmed to their 
use his " lands of Limburne" in Homersfield, with all their appurtenances, in perpetual 
alms, excepting service to himself and his heirs, and the payment of 8d. per annum. 30 
The which grant and confirmation he makes to them for the good of his soul and the 
souls of his father and mother, and of all his ancestors and friends. 

In the fifty-second of Henry III., Sir James de Ilketshall mortgaged for 27 marks 
and a half of silver, to the lady Sarah, Prioress of the church of the Holy Cross 
of Bungay, certain lands, from the feast of the nativity of the blessed Virgin, to the 
purification following ; and if the money was not then paid, the nuns were to have the 
lands for ever. 31 

It would appear that the money was not repaid within the prescribed period, for in 
the following year this Sir James de Ilketshall conveyed an acre of land, and the 
advowson of the church of St. John Baptist of Ilketshall, by fine, to the priory of 
Bungay. 32 The prioress and nuns had a rent out of a shop in the Drapery at Norwich, 
given them in the year 1272. 33 

The advowson of Redenhall, in Norfolk, was granted by Margaret, daughter and 
coheiress of Thomas de Brotherton, to Bungay Nunnery, by the King's license and the 
Pope's bull ; which grant was afterwards confirmed by Alice, her sister, and Sir Edward 
de Montacute, her husband; and in 1349, its revenues were appropriated by the bishop 
of the diocese to pay ten shillings to each nun towards finding her clothing. The bishop 

28 Monasticon. 29 Id. 3 Ex carta orig. 

31 Blomefield. & Id. Id. 



and his successors were to nominate a vicar, every vacancy, and the prioress was obliged 
to present him. The bishop had also a pension out of the rectory of three marks and a 
half; and the newly erected vicarage was taxed at thirteen marks. 34 In 1441, at the 
complaint of the vicar, the church was disappropriated, and became a rectory again, on 
condition that the rector should pay a yearly pension of forty shillings to the prioress, 
and that the bishop should for ever nominate to her ; and if she did not immediately 
present the person so nominated, the bishop then might collate him in his own right. 
This pension is still paid by the rector of Redenhall to the Duke of Norfolk, in right of 
Bungay Priory. 35 The prioress had some interests in the parish of St. Martin's at Plain, 
in Norwich, and had also a house near Tombland, and in the parish of St. Simon and 
Jude, in the same city. In 1515, the dean of the college of St. Mary in the Fields, at 
Norwich, paid ten shillings to the prioress of Bungay, for certain tithes in Moulton that 
were hired of her. 36 William de Curzon, of Stanfield, in Norfolk, gave also five acres of 
land to Bungay Priory, out of Kangham's manor in that county, which Alice, the prioress 
there, and the convent, granted to Robert Skilman, of Hetherset, and his heirs. 37 The 
priory had also much real property, as is evident from a deed of conveyance from the 
prioress and convent to Sir John de Norwich, in 13(50, to which was affixed the seal of 
the priory. 

But the interests and estates of this monastery will be most apparent from the 

34 Lib. Instit. pen. Epis. Norw. 

35 Id. 

36 Blomefield. 

3? Id. 


following confirmation of their grants and charters, given them by King Edward IV., on 
the 5th of January, 1466. 

" Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. Inspeximus cartam domini Edwardi nuper regis Anglise 
progenitoris nostri in hsec verba, &c. Inspeximus cartam quam inclitae recordationis dominus Henricus 
quondam rex Angl: progenitor noster fecit in haec verba: Henricus Dei gratia rex Angliae et dux 
Normannite et Aquitanniae, et comes Audegaviae, &c. 

" Sciatis quod a petitionem Rogeri de Glanville et Gundredee comitissse uxoris suse concessi, et pre- 
senti carta mea confirmavi sanctimonialibus de Bongeia ibidem Deo imperpetuum regulariter servientibus 
ecclesiam Sanctse Crucis de Bongeia, quae sita est in libero maritagio ipsius comitissae Gundredse cum 
omnibus pertin : suis, et preterea decem solidos de molendinis ejusdem Rogeri et Gundr : com : in villa de 
Bongeia ad luminaria in profata ecclesia eisdem sanctimonialibus annuatim reddend: scilicit, V Sol: ad 
Pascha, et V Sol: ad festum Sancti Michaelis, et multuram ipsarum sanctimonialium de domo sua de 
Bungcia quietam. Et preterea quatuor ecclesias quse similiter sitae sunt in libero maritagio praedictae G: 
com : scilicit, ecclesiam omnium sanctorum de Metyngham et ecclesiam Sanctse Margaret* de Ilketeleshall, 
et ecclesiam Sancti Andrese de Ilketeleshall, et ecclesiam Sancti Laurencij de Ilketeleshall cum omnibus 
rebus ad prsedictas ecclesias pertinentibus et quidquid prsefatis sanctimonialibus rationabiliter collatum est, 
et quidquid imposterum ab aliis ipsis collatum erit in liberam puram et perpetuam elemosinam, sicut 
cartfe ipsius Rogeri ct com: G: et aliorum donatorum earum rationabiliter testantur. Quare volo et 
firmiter pnccipio quod prsefatae sanctimoniales et earum homines habeant et teneant omnes terras et 
possessiones et elemosinas suas cum soka 38 et saka, 39 et thol 40 et theam 41 et infangetheof 42 et cum 
omnibus libcrtatibus et liberis consuetudinibus et quietantiis suis in bosco, et piano, in pratis et pascuis, in 
aquis et molendinis, in viis et semitis, in stagnis et vivariis, in mariscis et piscariis, in grangiis et virgultis 
infra burgum et extra, et in omnibus rebus et in omnibus locis solutas liberas et quietas dc sectis shiris et 
huudredis et placitis et querelis et de pecunia danda pro forisfacto de murdro et de wapentac et scutagio et 
geldo et dancgeldo et hidagiis et assisis et de operationibus castellorum et parcorum et pontium et calcear: 
et cle ferdwita et de hengewita et de flemmefremthe et de hamsoka et de wardpeni et de averpeni et de 
blodwita et dc lecrwita et de hundredpeni et tremmingpeni nisi in introitu et suit quietae praedictae sancti- 
moniales et homines sui per totam terram meam de omni theolones et de omnibus rebus quas ipsae vel 
homines sui poterant assecurare quod emant et vendant eas ad proprios usus ipsarum sanctimonialium vel 
hominum suorum absque venditione ulterius facienda, et de passagio et pontagio et lestagio et stellagio et 
de omni seculari servitio et opere servili et exactione et omnibus aliis occasionibus et consuetudinibus 
secularibus, excepta sola justitia mortis et membrorum. Haec omnia concessi praefatis sanctimonialibus in 
liberam et puram et perpetuam elemosinam pro dei amore, et salute animas mese et omnium antecessorum 

18 Soka, the privilege of administering justice and executing the laws. 

19 Saka, the power of holding a plea in causes of trespass, and imposing fines and amercements 

Thol, a payment in towns, markets, and fairs, on goods or cattle sold therein. It was also used to 
express the exemption from these. 

41 Theam, a power to have, restrain, and judge their bondmen and villains with their children, goods 
and chattels, wherever they should be found in England. 

42 Infangtheof, the privilege of trying thieves and felons taken within the limits of any place, to which 
it was granted. The Prioress of Bungay, however, as the charter in another part states, had not the 
power of touching life and limb. 


ct successorum meorrnn. Testibus Hugone Dunelm: et Johanne Norwic: episcopis, Willielmo comite 
Sussex, comite David fratre regis Scotorum, Rann: de Glanville, Willielmo de Hum: constabulario, 
Waltero filio Roberti Setico de Oumci, Willielmo Marescallo, Galfrido filio Petri, Richardo de Camvill, 
Stephano de Turneham apud Gaittington. 

" Inspeximus etiam quandam aliam cartam quam Celebris memorise dominus H quondam rex Angliae 

proavus noster fecit in hsec verba. Henricus Dei gratia rex Angl: dominus Hiberniae, &c. Sciatis nos 

intuitu Dei concessisse et hac carta nra confirmasse pro nobis et heered: nostris Deo et ecclesise Sanctae 

Crucis de Bungeya et sanctimonialibus ibidem Deo servientibus omnes donationes et concessiones sub- 

scriptas videlicet, de dono Gundredae com : totam terram suam de Weston, et de Weynesford, et 24 acras 

terrae in Kova, et sedem molendini ad ventum in Northales et totam terr: in Kove quam tenuit de Rad: 

fil: Thorn: et 12 acr: prati in novo prato de Barsham, et dimid: acram prati et marisci juxta Hepesflete et 

12 demarat reddit de annuo redd suo de Sidingeia: et totum ortum attingentem super Quave, et prseter 

hoc viginti pedes versus villam ad ampliandum cimiterium eccliae suae et 20 pedes versus domum Hug: le 

Bakur: et pratum in loco qui vocatur Holium: et turbarium, &c., et de dono ejusdem G: com: talem 

libertatem quod ipsa Comitissa nee haeredes sui nee successores sui aliquam foeminam ponent in conventu 

praedic: Scimonialium, nee instituent velandum, nisi de gratia et pura voluntate priorissae et assensu 

conventus ; et non tradent clericum laicum vel fteminam custodiendos ad victum et vestitum habenda, 

nisi de propria voluntate ejusd: priorissae et conventus. Sed quiet: habeant et teneant ecclesias et terras 

quas eis in puram elemos: dedit et concessit, et solutas ab omni seculari dominio de se et haeredibus suis. 

De dono Rogeri de Glanville eccliam See Marise de Ruckton. Dd Roberti de Belcperche terram in Ilketes- 

hall. Dd Rogeri Bigod, com : Norff: totam terram suam de Kyngesfen in Ilketeshall in cscambhim duaruni 

marcatarum terrae in Coleby. Dd Hugonis Bigot, com: Norff: campum qui vocatur Hallecroft. Dd 

Rogeri Bigot, com: Norff: molendinum suum de Waineford. Dd Ric: Bacuu de Lodnes 10 acras terrae 

in Osmundeshag. Dd Rogeri de Huntingfeld, Alvenam, quse fuit uxorem Rog. Brunstou, et Thomam fil : 

ejus primo-genitum cum toto ten: suo quod ad praedicto Rogero tcnuerunt in Medefeld ac pertin: de 

Mendham. Dd ejusd: Rogeri Walterum Wudard de Medefeld hominem suum cum homagio suo et cum 

toto ten: et cum tota secta sua et toto servitio suo. Dd Roberti Wadenger unam acram terrae in Denton 

et 4 particulas terrse in eadem villa. Dd Thomae fil : Gilberti de Ilketeshall terram quse vocatur Thurstan- 

eswett. Dd Rogeri de Hugeshall totam terram suam de Lyrnburne. Dd Werreis de Cadamo duas acras 

terrae et dimid, et unam rodam, quae vocatur Caterig in Ilstede. Dd Bartholom Sauzaveir 30 acras terrse 

in Jerpeston, et homagium et servic Rogeri Thurmod cum toto ten: et tota secta sua et homag: Rogeri de 

Hales, cum toto ten : suo. D. d. diversorum aliorum terras et tenementa et reddit : et servitia et in Kove, 

Northales, Lingwud, Chebenhall, Sturmesmedwe, Thordeshag, in marisco de Stikewanesfen, Stowegate, 

Ginestoft, Denton, Gernemuth, Waineford, Frostend, Keteringham, Weston, Redesham, Lymburne, 

Sueresgate, Redesham, Wyngefelde, Tyrington, Strummesmede, Sturmesmede, Coleshord, Hemmehaule, 

Crofto, Bungeya, Ilketeshall, Suacer, Northales, habend: et tenend: eisdem scimonialibs et successoribs 

suis in perpet 01 . Quare volumus, c. : Iliis testibus, &c. Dat: per manum venerabilis patris Radulphi 

Cicestr: episcopi, cancellarij nostri apud Bromholm 13 die Martij anno regni nostri 19' Nos autem 

donationes concessiones et eonfirmationes p'dcas ratas habentes, et gratas eas pro nobis et haeredibus 

nostris, concedimus et confirmavimus, &c. Hiis testibus, &c. Dat: per manum nostram apud Lincoln 

quinto die Julij anno regni nostri quinto. Nos autem cartas et litteras prsedictas et omnia et singula in 

eisdem contenta rata habentes, et grata ea pro nobis et heredibus nostris acceptamus et approbamus, ac 

dilectis nobis in Christo nunc priorissse et scimonialibus loci praedicti, et success : suis tenore presentium 

ratificamus et confirmamus sicut cartae praedictse rationabiliter testantur. In cuius, &c. Teste Rege 

apud Westmonast: quinto die Januarij. 

" Pro tresdecem solidis et quatuor denariis solutis in hanaperio." 


The following is a copy of the receipt of 13*. kd. paid for the above confirmation. 

" Nunc priorissa et sanctimoiiiales de Bongeia dant 13 sol: 4 den: solutos in hanaperio pro con- 
tirmatione quarundam cartaram diversorum progenitorum domini regis nunc, quondam regum Angliae, de 
diversis concessionibus et confirmationibus nuper priorissse et sanctimonialibus loci prsedicti, predeces- 
soribus ipsarum nunc priorissse et sanctimonialium et successoribus suis factis nuper confectarum 
h abends. 

" Teste Rege apud Westmonasterium quinto die January." ** 

In the reign of King John, William le Bigot disputed the title of the nuns to a part 
of Gundreda's endowment. The prioress contended that the disputed property, which 
seems to have been a carucate of land lying in Kove and Weston, and recited in the 
I (receding confirmation, was granted by Gundreda, who had full power to do so, by her 
seneschal, who put her in full possession. She rests her claim upon the testimony of 
Roger Bigot, who witnessed the gift, and relies on the justice of her country. 44 ' It is 
not apparent how the suit was contested, but the issue was in favour of the prioress, 
whose successors retained the estate at Kove till the dissolution of their house by 
Henry VIII. In 1251, Henry III. issued letters of protection to the prioress of Bungay 
for ten years from the feast of St. Benedict, the abbot. These letters are dated at 
Norwich on the 20th of March in that year. 45 In 1309, the prioress and nuns obtained 
the appropriation of the tithes of the church of St. John Ilketshall, the advowson of 
which had been conveyed to them in 1268, by Sir James de Ilketshall. It was granted 
by the King on the 20th of March, by the fine of half a mark. 46 

" Pro priorissa de Bungaya. Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. salutern. Sciatis quod per finem quern 
dilecta nobis in Christo priorissa ecclesiae Sanctse Crucis in Bungcya fecit nobiscum, concessimus pro 
nobis et lieredibus nostris quantum in nobis est, eidem priorissse et conventui ejusdem loci, quod ipsi 
ecclesiam Sancti Johannis Baptistse de Ilketshall, Norwyc: dioc: quse est de advocatione sua propria, 
appropriare, et earn appropriatam in proprios usus teuere possint, sibi et successoribus suis imperpetuum. 
" Teste Rege apud Westm: xx die Martij, per finem dimidiae marcse." 

In 1355, John de Bedingfeld, prior of the cell at Aldeby, was appointed by the 
prior of Norwich to take the confessions, to absolve, and to enjoin the penances of the 
prioress and nuns of Bungay. 47 It has been shown, that in the year 1258 the convent 
was sufficiently wealthy to advance, by way of mortgage, a considerable sum of money 
to Sir James de Ilketshall ; but a century later the affairs of the establishment appear in 
a far less prosperous condition; for on the 8th of November, 1373, the King granted 
Ins letters patent to the prioress and convent " ob paupertatem exilis prioratus de 
Bungeye,"- " quod ipsi terras, tenementa et redditus ad valentiam decem librarum per 

43 Rot. Fin. de an. 5 Ed. IV. m. 1. +* Dugdale. 

46 Rot. Pat. 35 Hen. III. m. 10. 46 Rot. Pat. 2 Ed. II. p. 2, m. '27. Blomefield. 


annum, jiixta verum valorem eorundem de feodo suo proprio adquirere possent." The 
letters patent commence by stating the King's desire to free the convent from debt. 

" Nos, concessionem nostram prcedictam, effectui debito mancipari volentes, concessimus, et licentiam 
dedimus pro nobis et hseredibus nostris Rogeri Rose, vicario ecclesise Sanctse Trinitatis de Bungeye, et 
Johanni Duncon, capellano, quod ipsi unum messuagium, unum toftum, quatuor cotagia, 175 acr: terrse, 
18 ac: prati, 4 ac: pastures, 4 ac: alneti et dimidium, et 34 solidatas redditus cum pertin: in Ilkettilleshall, 
Metyngham, Flixton, et Dichyngham ; et Rogero Longo, personse ecclesise de Saudcroft, et Willielmo 
Ramysholt, personse ecclesiae de Homerisfeld, quod ipsi unum messuagium, 30 ac: ter: 2 ac: prati, 2 ac: 
pasture, et 6 ac: alneti cum pertinent: in Southelmham, de qviibus quidem tenementis unum messuagium, 
unum toftum, duo cotagia, 120 ac : terr: 10 ac: pr: 4 past: et 2 ac: alneti, ac redditus prsedictus de 
preefatis priorissa et conventu, et residua tenementorum illorum de aliis quam de nobis tenentur, quse 
etiam tenementa prreter reditum prcedictum valent 5G solidos per an: in omnibus exitibus juxta verum 
valorem ; dare possint, et assignare prasfatis priorissse et couveutui habend: et tenend: sibi et eor: success: 
in plenam satisfactionem terrar: tenement: et reddituum ad valorem decem librarum prredictor: in per- 

" Teste Rege apud West: viij die Novemb:" 48 

In the year 1376 an event occurred, which, from the heinous nature of the offence, 
and the high connexions of the culprit, must have excited the most painful sensations 
among the inmates of the convent. This was no less than the flight of Katlicrine de 
Montacute from the Nunnery. Among the records preserved in the Tower of London, 49 
is an order for seizing the person of this fugitive, who is described as wandering in 
concealment about the country in a secular dress, heedless of her sacred order, and to 
the danger of her soul. The following is the mandamus issued by Edward III. for the 
apprehension of this apostate nun. 

" D' apostata capienda. 

" Rx dilcis & fidelibz suis Johi Trailly, Chivaler, Andree Cavcndissh, Chivaler, 
Waltero Amyas, clico, Hugoni Fastolf, Edmundo Gourney, Johi Caltoft, & Ednmndo 
Spicer, saltm : Quia Katerina de Monte Acuto monialis in monasterio de Bungeye, 
Ordinis sci Benedci, Norwicen: dioc: rite & legitime p fessa, spreto hitu ordinis illius, in 
hitu seculari de pria, in priam in div sis ptibz regni nri Angl: vagat & discurrit, in 
aie sue piculi, & ordinis sui pdci scandalu manifestu, sicut venabilis in Xpo pat: Hen r 
Epius Norwicen: p: Iras suas patentes nob significavit: Assignavim vos & quemlibet 
vrm ad ipam Kat inam ubicuq: inventa fu'it tarn infra libtates qm ext capiend & 
arestand & earn Priorisse dci monastii de Bungeye, vel ejus in hac pte attorn, libari 
faciend scdm regulam ordinis pdci castigand. Et ideo vob, & cuilibet vrm mandani 

48 Rot. Pat. 47 Ed. III. p. 2, m. 16. 

49 Rot. Pat. in Turr. Lond. de An 51 Ed. III. a tergo 34. "De capiendo Katherinam de Monte 
Acuto monialem de Bungay apostatum." 

VOL. I. T 


firmit' injungentes, qd circa p~missa cu omi diligencia intendatis & ea fac & exequamini 
in forma pdca. Damus autem univsis & singulis vicecomitibz, majoribz, ballivis, 
ministris, & aliis fidelibz nris, tarn infra libtates, qm ext, tenore p senciu in mandatis, 
qd vob & cuilibet vrm in p missis faciend & exequend intendentes jiint consulentes & 
auxiliantes quociens & put p vos seu aliquem vrm sup hoc ex pte nra fu e int p muniti. 
In cuj &c. T. R. apud Westm: vij die Marcij." 

This erring and unfortunate lady must have been a descendant or connexion of 
Edward de Montacute, who died a few years before, lord of Bungay Castle. The 
awful punishment awarded to such a crime is well known, but the fate of this maiden 
lias eluded my researches; neither docs tradition relate that any one has yet discovered 

" her bones 

Whitening amid disjointed stones, 
And, ignorant of priests' cruelty, 
Marvel such relics here should be." 

Hut the author of the preceding lines informs us, that " among the ruins of the Abbey of 
Coldingham, were some years ago discovered the remains of a female skeleton, which, 
from the shape of the niche, and the position of the figure, seemed to be that of an 
immured nun." In 13SO occurs the name of Katherine de Monte Acuto, as prioress 
of Bungay, but we can hardly suppose her to have been the apostate, but recovered 

The last of the immunities granted to the nunnery at Bungay was issued in the 
beginning of the reign of Henry VIII. by the Pope, through the Metropolitan and the 
Bishop of the Diocese, to Elizabeth Stephenson. Among other privileges, his holiness 
conferred on the prioress and her successors the power of affording sanctuary to all 
men who had been guilty of committing rapes. 

The sum of 12 s . 4 d . was annually expended in this monastery in alms to the poor, 
on the anniversary of Gundreda, Countess of Norfolk, who was considered the 
foundress ; and also for wax-lights to burn around her tomb on the same day. 

Thomas de Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, held on the day of his death, as of fee 
of our Sovereign Lord Richard II., late King of England, the advowson of the Priory 
of Bungay. 51 

00 Scott's ' Marmiou.' ' Inquis. p. mort. 




1228 Alicia. 

1270. Maria. 

1296 Sarah de Stafford. 

1306 Elizabeth Folyoth. 

1308 Margaret de Thebhryge. 

Maria de Castell. 

1335 Katherine Falstoff. 

1349 Elena Ulseworth. 

1380 Katherina de Monteacuto. 

1396 Margaret Smallburgh. 

1399 Margeria Park. 

1408 Sarah Richeres. 

1433 Margaret Takill, or Cabcll. 

1439 Emmota Roughed. 

1451 Ellena Tolle. 

1452 Ann Rothenhale. 
1454 Emma. 

1465 Margaret Dalinger. 

1497 Anne Page. 

1520 Elizabeth Stephenson. 

1535 Cecilia Falstoft'e. 

There was also a Johanna, Prioress of Bungay, whose seal is engraved beneath. It 

represents St. John the Baptist in the usual dress, bearing the Paschal lamb on a 

roundel in his left hand ; the right being upheld in benediction. In the base is tin: 
Prioress in the attitude of prayer. 


I have not ascertained at what time Johanna presided over the convent; but as 
the design of the seal would lead us to ascribe it to a period about the reign of 
Edward I., or possibly a little earlier, and as there is a lapse of forty-two years between 
the presentment of Alicia arid Maria, the latter of whom was prioress in 1270, 
Johanna's presidency most probably occurred in the interval. 

In the time of Edward I., Bungay Nunnery contained a prioress and fifteen nuns, 
and its revenues then amounted to 40 per annum, 52 but at the Dissolution its inmates 
were reduced to a prioress and only eleven nuns. Dr. Tanner asserts from a manuscript 
in the library of Bcnnet College, Cambridge, that there were but seven nuns at that 

The site and possessions, with all the tithes of the dissolved Priory at Bungay, 
wriv granted on the 18th of December, 1537, to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk. The 
grant is in capite, by the twentieth part of one knight's fee, and 6. 4s. d. annual 
iv nt. Its value is therein stated to be 02. Is. \\d.; but its gross value was returned 
ai t 72. l!),v. M. 

The silver seal of Maria dc Huntingfekl, probably the Maria of 1270, was ploughed 
up in the town lands of Bungay by Mr. Valentine Lumley, who then farmed them. It 
was afterwards in the possession of Joseph Watson, M.D., of Harleston, 53 from whom it 
passed into the hands of Charles Garneys, Esq., of Hedenham, and from him to 
the late Dr. Camell, of Bungay. 

'-' Item advocatio prioratus de Bungeye, ubi una priorissa et xv moniales nutriantur, et valent 
spiritualia per annum xl lib. Inq. p. mort. 35 Ed. I. 11. 46. 
M Jermvn MSS. 


V Bcdfurl,lit>.0, 

feinted by .Sliinaid 


The remains of Bungay Nunnery are very inconsiderable, with the exception of the 
conventual church. The cloisters stood on the south side of this edifice, as is evident 
from the doorway which led from them into the south aisle, and the ends of the 
oaken beams which sustained their roof, which are yet visible. The north aisle is a fine 
piece of flint -work, with elaborate battlements, pinnacles, and window-tracery; all 
of which are much corroded and injured by time. Its date is about the year 1450. 
This aisle was originally open to view, and perhaps formed, with the line of buildings 
to its eastward, the grand faade of the convent, before the modern houses in the 
market-place were built. 54 

The chancel is in ruins, but its extent and proportions are clearly denned. At the 
end of this, stands a shattered wall, pierced with a few windows, and two doorways ; 
the westernmost of which, only, is original. The part abutting upon the chancel, and 
diverging at a slight angle from its line, was probably a chapel ; and from its position, 
dedicated to St. Mary. This supposition of the writer is strengthened by the fact, that 
by an "inquisitio ad quod damnum," held at Beccles in the forty-seventh of Edward III., 
provision was made to find a chaplain to perform divine service in the chapel of the 
Virgin Mary in the priory of Bungay. 

" Rex concedat Rogero Rose et Jolian Dunkon quod ipsi 2 cotag: 55 acr: terr: 8 acr: prat: et (Timid: 
alneti cum pertinent in Ilketilishall, Metyngham, Flixton, et Dychyngham ; et Rogero Longe Personse 
ecclise de Homersfield, quod ipsi unum messuag: 30 acr: terr: 2 ac: prati in Southelmham dare possint, 
ad inveniendum unum capellanum divina duobus diebus qualibet septimana in capelld lieatre Maria 
prioratus prsedce, pro auimabus &c. celebratur: in perpet: et prsed: mess: et ten: valent p: an: 24 


was parochial, previous to the dissolution of the nunnery, as well as conventual ; and 
probably its handsome western front, which was built subsequently to the north aisle, 
formed the grand approach from the town. It is yet called ' Lady Church ' by old 
inhabitants in the place. At the great fire in 1688 it suffered considerable damage; 
but the statement of the Brief that it was burnt to the ground is an exaggeration. The 
old benches, and possibly the font for the present one is modern might have been 
consumed, as was evidently the roof of the south aisle, which was relaid and finished in 
1699 ; but the fine oaken roof of the nave escaped. Nor were all the bells melted in 
the conflagration, the writer having furnished to one of the churchwardens, some years 
since, a translation of the old Longobardic legends which encircled two of them, which 
have since been re-cast. The inscription on one of them ran thus : 

54 Jermvu MSS. 


The interior of this edifice is light and elegant, its clerestory being supported on 
each side by five columns composed of clustered shafts. The want of a chancel mars 
the justness of its proportions very considerably ; but its greatest disfigurement is a 
huge and ugly altar-piece. One or two ancient piscinas have lately been laid open, but 
their workmanship demands no especial notice. The tower, of slender but delicate 
proportions, stands at the west end of the south aisle, and the massy bands of iron with 
which its internal columns are braced together attest the injury its foundations have 
sustained by an injudicious grave-digger, who nearly brought it to the ground in 1790, 
by excavating a vault beneath its base. 

The old parish book commences in 1523, and contains the churchwardens' accounts 
before the Dissolution. It is a very curious record, in high preservation, and some of its 
entries show that many popish observances were retained at Bungay long after its 
nunnery was stript and ruined. 

la 23. 

Paid for the casse that the crosse lyethe yn ...... vj rf . 

It : for ij Albys washyng ......... ij rf . 

It: for mcndyng all the surples decayid . . . . . . . ij d . 


Payd to the dark for washyn and mendyng a alhe ..... ij d . 

It: paid to Thomas tyukar for mendyng of ye grete latcn candelstycke . xij d . 

It: paid for mendyng of ye hest crosse ....... ij d . 

P d for ffcttyn the brassen lectenie from Metyngham .... iiij<*. 

The last entry proves that the good people of Bungny had taste enough to procure 
and employ an elegant piece of church furniture, which the inhabitants of Mettingham 

' The brassen lecterne ' was, I presume, brought from the chapel of the dissolved 
college there ; an edifice fitted up in most elegant style. Subsequent fanaticism, how- 
ever, has failed to spare what the rough hands of the reformers left uninjured. 

The following armorial bearings formerly ornamented the windows of this church. 

T'fford, sab., a cross engrailed or. Kenton, sable, a chev. arg. between 3 cinque- 
foils or. 

Fitz-Otes, az., 4 bars or, a canton erm. quartering 

Knivett, arg., a bend sable. 

Montacute, erm., 3 fusils in fess gules. 

a bord. az. charged with 8 martlets or. 55 

Monuments. In 1612 there was a stone for Reginald Barrow. 56 

M Jermyn MSS., from MS. church notes by Sir John Blois. Id. 


Reginald Brown, Gent., died Jan. 2, 1767. Arms, arg. on a bend az. 3 eagles 
displayed or. 

Richard Nelson, Gent., died Dec. 2, 1727. Arms, per pale arg. and sab. a chev. 
between 3 fleurs-de-lis counterchanged. 

Robert Scales, who gave the organ to the church, died Nov. 7, 1732. 

James Browne, Gent., died Jan. 9, 1755. 

Henry Williams, died May 25, 1768, aged 79. 

Edward Cooper, late surgeon in Bungay, died March 31, 1764. Arms, az. a 
tortoise, pale-wise, or. 

Valentine Lumlcy, Clerk, died April 26, 1794, aged 70. 

Thomas Bewicke, Clerk, died Feb. 7, 1842, aged 74. Arms, arg. 5 lozenges in fess 
gul., each charged with a mullet of the first, between 3 bears' heads erased sab. 

Gregory Clarke, Gent,, died May 10, 1725. Arms, arg. on a bend gules 3 swans 
prop, between as many pellets. 

John Davie, D.D., Master of Sidney Sussex Coll., Cainb., died Oct. 8, 1813, 
aged 36. 

Lancelot Davie, died Oct. 9, 1816, aged 33. 

Thomas Bardwell, portrait painter, died Sept. 9, 1767, aged 63. 

Bungay St. Mary, as a benefice, has been a perpetual curacy only, since the dissolu- 
tion of the nunnery. 


Curates. Date. Patrons. 

William Baker 

Harry Anstis . . 1/62 Earl of Effingham. 

Peter Forster . . 1766 Sequestrator. 

J. Padclon . . . 1814 

Thomas Sworde . . 1823 

George Glover . . 1830 

The church contains 846 sittings, of which 216 are free. 

Among the plates in the fourth volume of Betham's ' Baronetage of England ' is the 
representation of a very curious and rich " Atchievement of Le Seneschal de Buxton, 
Seneschal of Bourdeaux, temp. Ric. II.," which was taken from the priory of Bungay in 
the time of Henry VIII. The writer requested permission of the family to have it 
re-engraved for the present work, but not having been favoured with an answer to his 
application, he does not consider himself at liberty to enrich his volume with this 
desirable illustration. 



was early appropriated to the Nunnery, and being an appendage, probably fell with it. 
It was standing, and in use in 1500, but has been so long down, that its site is not 
exactly known. According to the Norwich Domesday Book, it paid an annual rent of 
1. Ss. Id. to the prior of St. Olave at Herringfleet. 


The circular tower of this church is, probably, as ancient as the reign of Edward 
the Confessor, and a careful survey of its interior will amply repay the student of 
ecclesiastical architecture. It was much damaged some years ago, by lightning, which 
split the walls, and melted all the bells but one, which remains the solitary occupant of 
the belfry. It is encircled by the following legend in old characters : 

It appears by the churchwardens' books that a large bell was made for this tower in 
15GG, which cost 8. 10s., and weighed 25 cwt., except lOtts. It was sold in 
17.")5 by John Meen and William Pell for 82. 7*. Gd., and the produce applied 
towards enlarging the church. The octangular parapet of this ancient tower is 
enriched with eight shields bearing the armorial cognizances of Bigot, Brotherton, 
Montacute, Beauchamp, Westminster, Edward the Confessor, Bury, or Norwich See, 
and Spencer, Bishop of Norwich. Some of them commemorate families and individuals 
once powerful here. 

The church to which this tower is attached exhibits marks of considerable antiquity; 
but neither its keeping nor condition can merit commendation. It comprises a very 
lofty nave, divided from a south aisle by clustered columns with plain moulded capitals, 
which sustain pointed arches. This aisle was probably erected by the Bardolphs, as 
their arms are cut in stone on its western angle. 

There are two very lofty and wide windows, which occupy the greater part of 
the north wall of the nave. They contain perpendicular tracery ; as do the other lights 
in the church, except the east window, which is below criticism. 

The ruins of the chancel were removed in 1754, or the following year. The part of 
the church now used as such is deemed a chancel only, as appears by the churchwardens' 
books. Before the chancel was ruinated, a screen was erected about 1558; for in 
that year the ' Churchreeves ' paid to Robert Bateman for timber, work, and meat, 
for making a partition between the church and chancel, 13*. 4td. It is said that this 
chancel perished by fire. 


The only elegant fitting now in this edifice is the pulpit, which is finely carved out 
of brown oak, and dates as high as Queen Elizabeth's reign. In the Churchreeve's 
books is a charge of 5s. paid in 1558 "for making the pulpit;" but I think this could 
scarcely have been completed, even then, for so small a sum. 

This church possesses no font, its use being supplied by a wooden moveable stool ; 
though there is little cause, perhaps, to lament its disappearance, disreputable as is its 
successor. It could not have been very elegant, for we learn, from the authority above 
quoted, that in 1558 the churchwardens "paid the mason and his lad for 3 days work 
making the font, wages and meat, 3*. 9d." In the centre of the church is a large 
faculty pew, now the property of Mrs. Barlee, but granted in 1705 to her ancestor, 
Gregory Clarke, and his successors for ever, as proprietor and occupier of a mansion 
near Duke's-bridge. The gallery over gallery erected at the end of the nave of this 
church shows how serious an injury the pew system has proved to the interests of 
religion. Before the Reformation the two parishes of St. Mary and Trinity buried their 
dead in Trinity church-yard, the former parish having no cemetery ; the present burial 
ground being then the private property of the Priory. The public road, which now 
separates the two church-yards, was a foot-path only till within a very few years, and 
has been abstracted from Trinity church-yard. No hole can be dug in this road without 
disturbing human bones, and there is reason to think that the garden which now abuts 
upon the south side of Trinity church was once also a receptacle for the dead. 

In the " Churchreeve's Books " which I have already quoted, are several notices 
deserving of extract, which I here introduce. 

*. d. 

" 1558. Received a legacy given by Mr. Edwards towards building the church: God 
pardon his soul : and from many others for the said purpose in money, wheat 
and malt . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 

Paid Thomas Codd for two great lattin candlesticks to stand before the altar .120 
Paid to the stainer for repairing an image of the Trinity ..... 8 

This reparation of an emblem deemed by the reformers to be especially papistical is 
strangely contrasted by the zeal displayed in the following entry. 

" 1558. Paid for stopping up the place where the holy water steps (Qu. ? stoups) stood 

by the church door .......... 7% 

Paid for writing diverse things of the service into the book of common-prayer . 20 rf . 

Paid for the great bible 134 

Paid for a book of the commands that was sit on the wall .... 16 

Next follow some interesting entries respecting the " Church Ale-games," a species 
of saturnalia which formerly disgraced our Sabbaths. 

VOL. I. U 


. a. d. 
" 15CC. Received the collection at the church Ale-game on Trinity Sunday, when Mr. 

Hesson did procure his neighbours of Beccles and other places to come .1711 
Borrowed apparell, late my Lord of Surry's, for the Interlude. Provisions for 

the Interlude .... 

For the church Ale-game .... .138 

There is a singular mixture of the mournful and the ludicrous in thus beholding the 
" apparell late my Lord of Surry's," figuring at the interlude of an ale-game. The 
fair Geraldine, shrouded in romance the genius the untimely end of the accom- 
plished " Lord of Surry " the tyranny of his heartless monarch all crowd into the 
imagination to be expelled by the buffoonery of a country clown ! " To what base uses 

we may return." 

. *. d. 

" liG". Expenccs for the interlude this yeare . 

" 1") 68. Collected at the game in the castle yard ... . 20 6^ 

Paid for making a communion cup of a chalice 

Kcmveil of Edwards all the game players gowns and coats, made of old copes . 

lU'ci-ived fur old ropes sold ..... ... 2 3 7 

" l.lM/. Paid Thomas King for blotting out ' Pray for the souls ' in the glass window 
" 1;"M8. Paid for a quart of wine that was sent to Mr. Linnaker on Good Friday, when 

he preached to Mr. Throgmorton ..... 8 

Paid a year's whipping the dogs out of the church . 1 4 

Paid at the court at Beccles for not punishing those which kept not their church 2 

"1591. Received for the players coats .... .50 

There was, before the Reformation, a much venerated image of Henry VI. in this 
church; for in 1502 Agnes Hamond bequeathed "a hedkirche of hemp cloth to kovyr 
with gode King Harry in the church of the Trinity, Bungay." 

MoittniH'iit*. The most ancient and interesting is a small brass plate on the floor of 
the aisle, inscribed to the memory of Margaret Dalinger, formerly Prioress of Bungay, 
who died about the year 1497. 

rate paia tine ;$largarete Snhnger nup tfbrisfta tetfs loci. 

" Captain Thomas Stanton, formerly commander of the good ship Returne, to and from 
Surat in East India, who by his indefatigable industry made y e said voyage in twelve 
months : the like not done by any since. In his returne he fought and beat a Dutch 
man of war, and brought y e said ship (to his never dying fame) safe into the river 
Thames." He died at Bungay 30th of April, 1691, aged 67 years. 

" Major-Gen. Kelso, late Colonel of the 1st Royal Veteran Batt., died Oct. 13, 1823, 
aged 63. This lamented officer served his king and country 43 years in every quarter 
of the globe, with distinguished honour and credit. Was at the capture of St. Eustatia 
in 1781 ; the naval action off the Chesapeak; and in those under Lord Rodney on the 


9th and 12th of April, 1782, and was at the capture of Martinique, Guadaloupe, and 
St. Lucie ; and at the reduction of the Mauritius had the honour of being nominated 
to the command of a brigade." 

There is a monument to the Rev. Thomas Wilson, and Catharine his wife, with 
then- arms. Wilson : per pale, az. and arg. 3 gambs erased, bar-wise, counterchanged ; 
impaling or, 3 bars sable, and a canton gules. This learned divine was nearly forty 
years Vicar of this parish, and left a legacy to Baliol College, Oxford, of which he had 
been a distinguished tutor. 

Matthias Kerrison, Esq., died April 12, 1827, aged 85. Mary his wife died 
March 15th, 1812, aged 65. Kerrison bears, or, on a pile az. 3 pheons of the field, 
and bears Barnes in pretence. Arg. 2 bars counter-crenellated gules : in chief 3 

This benefice, having been granted by Hamon Barclolph, of Ilketshall, about the 
middle of the thirteenth century to the Canons of Barlings in Lincolnshire, shared the 
fate of the other churches in this town, and sunk into a vicarage. The grant of 
Hamon, with the confirmations of his successors, is contained among the Cotton MSS. 
in the British Museum. The nomination to the vicarage was part of the ancient 
revenues of the See of Norwich, taken from it by the Act of twenty-seventh Henry VIII., 
1535, and given to the King. 57 On the 17th of June, 1600, Queen Elizabeth granted 
to Martin, Bishop of Ely, and his successors, the rectory of Bungay Trinity, valued 
at 4. 58 The impropriation, with the presentation to the vicarage, is still with the See 
of Ely. 

In 1506, Trinity Church was held with Rainham St. Margaret's in Norfolk, by 


Vicars. Date. Patrons. 

Sequestration of the Vicar . 1308 

Robert Haustede . . 1 308 The Bishop, by lapse. 

Robert Somerton . . 1311 Nomination of the Bishop, and presentation of the 

Abbey of Barlyngs. 

William de Lopham . . 1314 Id. 

John, son of Thomas de Walpole 1324 Id. 

Oliver de Braddeley . . 1330 Id. 

Roger Rose . . . 1349 The Bishop, by lapse, eo quod Abbas et Conv : de 

Barlyngs preesentare recusarunt juxta nomina- 

tionem eis factam. 

57 Bloraefield. 88 From Queen Elizabeth's grant to Bishop Heton. 




Roger Blase 
John Sparwe . 
John Hereward 
John Bakere . 
John Hyrde 
Robert Keudaunt 
John Baxter 
Alexander Blenkensop 
Robert Nicolasson . 
Oliver Goodreston 
Richard Dalyson 
William Stallon 
Nicholas Lincoln 
Roger Tyller . 
William Johnson 
Edward Blencorn 
Christopher Smith . 
Robert Chapman 
Nicholas Judd 
William Pix 
Thomas Ralph 
Samuel Slipper 
Samuel Crisp . 
Charles Cock . 
Thomas Wilson 
Thomas Walker 
Thomas Wilson 
William Oldham 
Herring Thomas 
Edward Benezet 
Thomas Collyer 

Date. Patrons. 

1381 Norn", of Bishop, and presentation of Convent. 

1388 Id. 

1392 Id. 

1393 Id. 
1401 Id. 
1437 Id. 
1462 Id. 
1479 Id. 
1489 Id. 

1521 The Bishop, quia recusar: nominare. 

1538 Ad prses: assig: Dni Nonv: Epi, veri patroni. 

1555 The Crown. 

1561 Id. 

1575 Id. 

1583 Id. 

1592 Id. 

1602 Id. 

1631 Id. 

1 638 The Bishop of Ely. 

1640 Id. 

16C7 Id. 

1681 Id. 

1688 Id. 

1733 Id. 

1735 Id. 

1736 Id. 
1774 Id. 
1795 Id. 
1803 Id. 
1834 Id. 

Estimatio ecclie xvi marc: Estimatio Vicarise vi marc: Synodal: u s . u d . Denarij S. Petri, vi rf . ob. 

The registers of Trinity parish commence in 1557. There is also an old register 
book dated 1541, in the parish chest, which belonged to some other church. It could 
not, however, have been the record of the parish of St. Thomas in this town, as the 
church there was in ruins when this register book commences. 


There was a Grammar-School at Bungay previous to the year 1592, and Thomas 
Popson, whose name is usually spelt Popeson, M. A., and formerly Fellow of King's 
College, Cambridge, was master in that year. By indenture dated the 16th of January, 


thirty-fourth Elizabeth, Thomas Popson, M.A., then schoolmaster at Bungay, granted to 
the master, fellows, and scholars of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, a yearly rent of 4, 
during the life of himself and his wife ; and after their decease a yearly rent of 6, out 
of his messuages and premises called Monks, and out of two pieces of land, on each of 
which a tenement had been erected ; one being a close of 2^ acres, and the other 
a small pightle in Bungay ; and the then feoffees of the town lands thereby also granted 
to the said master, fellows, and scholars, a yearly rent of 6, out of their close called 
Copilles' Close in Hempnall, containing by estimation 50 acres ; and in consideration 
thereof the master, fellows, and scholars, covenanted that they would allow to every 
scholar, placed in any of the ten scholarships in Emmanuel College, of the foundation of 
Sir Walter Mildmay, Knt., therein mentioned, 4r/ weekly, and that the ten scholars 
should have such privileges and advantages as therein mentioned, and that when any of 
the ten scholarships should be vacant, the master and fellows should give notice thereof 
to the schoolmaster of Bungay school, and the chief constable of Bungay ; that the 
vacancies might be yearly supplied, &c. 

The messuages, lands, and premises were conveyed by deed of indenture of 
feoffment of the 26th of May, 1592, pursuant to covenants contained in a second 
deed, dated 20th April, thirty-fourth of Elizabeth. By a deed dated 29th Sept., 1728, 
which recited the deed of the 16th of January, thirty-ftnirth of Elizabeth, and that the 
school had for several years been entirely neglected, and in a manner lost, the feoffees 
granted to the master, fellows, and scholars of Emmanuel College, the yearly rents 
of 6, and 6 before mentioned, and the master, fellows, and scholars covenanted to 
send such a sufficient person to be schoolmaster to teach the scholars there, and to take 
bond from him in 200, to be made to the churchwardens of Bungay, for duly teaching 
the scholars, &c. ; and it was agreed that if the master, &c., should neglect to send 
down a schoolmaster after any vacancy, and after four months' notice, the feoffees 
should nominate a schoolmaster, and the master, fellows, &c., should lose their nomina- 
tion of that time. By a deed dated 1st March, 1728, Henry Williams, for the love 
and affection which he bore to the town of Bungay, and for the better support of 
a schoolmaster there, &c., granted unto certain trustees, and their heirs, the perpetual 
advowson and right of presentation to the vicarage of St. Andrew Ilketshall, upon 
trust, that they should present the schoolmaster of the town of Bungay, as parson 
or vicar of the said parish church. 

In consequence of the smallness of their endowment, the ten scholarships are now 
reduced to four. Robert Scales, by will dated 4th November, 1728, devised certain 
lands and tenements in St. Laurence Ilketshall to the master, if he should be a minister 
of the church of England, to read prayers every Wednesday and Friday mornings, 
and teach poor boys of the town, approved by the trustees, not exceeding ten. 


Popson drew up certain ordinances and rules for the government of his school, some 
of which are curious. " Some of the hygest forme shall weekly, by course, instruct the 
first forme, both in their accidence, and also in giving them copies to write, &c. ;" from 
which it appears, that the monitorial system, about the invention of which there was so 
much contention between Bell and Lancaster, in the nineteenth century, was prescribed 
and acted upon by Popson at Bungay as long ago as the sixteenth century. 

The town of Bungay has given name to many of her sons who are recorded in the 
pages of history. 

In 1239, Remer de Bungeye was Sheriff of Bungay, and in 1250 the King granted 
to Lambert de Leges, that of 4. 15s., which were due to him of the debt of this 
Reiner, he should receive of Lambert one mark annually. 59 

Reginald de Bungay was Lord Mayor of London in 1241 and 1242. 

In 1286, Jeffrey de Bungay was Sheriff of Norwich. Thomas de Bongeie or 
Bungay died in 1290. He was D. D. of Oxford, and going to Paris, was there 
perfected in the same degree with great applause ; after which he became logical 
professor at Oxford. 

Roger de Bungay was Rector of Whepstead in 1349. In 1452, Nicholas Bungay, a 
Carmelite friar, on the union of Peterson Priory to that of Walsingham, was presented 
to the rectory of Beeston in Norfolk. In 1497, Thomas Bungay was Vicar of Freethorp. 
When Shelfanger was resigned in the twenty-eighth of Henry VIII. to Thomas, Duke 
of Norfolk, Robert Bungay was prior. The chaplain of Guildhall Chapel, Norwich, 
received 2*. yearly for celebrating an annual for the soul of Robert Bungeye, from 
a tenement, late the said Robert's, in the nether row. 60 

Richard Belward, of Pembroke College, Cambridge, died in a farm-house of his 
own in Bungay, in concealment. He was concerned with the Lords Balmerino and 
Cromartie, in trying to effect the restoration of the Stuarts in 1745. He escaped, and 
remained an exile for years : after some time he ventured to return to this country, and 
live upon this small remnant of his estate in seclusion. 61 

Mrs. Chalker, an inhabitant of Bungay, died there about ten years since, aged 103 

The population of Bungay amounted in 

1803 to ......... 2349 

1812 ......... 2828 

1821 ......... 3290 

1841 .... ' 4109 

In 1593, Thomas Wingfield devised 170 to be laid out in the purchase of a rent- 
* Rot. Fin. 34 Hen. III. m. 2. Blomefield. 61 MSS. Mrs. Barlee. 


charge of 10 a year, and directed that out of the same the following payments should 
be made. 5 per annum for the help of necessitous people in Bungay ; 1 0*. a year for 
an anniversary sermon ; 40s. a year for raising a stock to be lent in small sums to 
tradesmen ; and 1 Qs. to be bestowed on his funeral day, yearly, in good cheer, for such 
of the feoffees as should be present ; and the residue to the use of two poor scholars in 
Cambridge. In 1712, Henry Webster devised his acre of land in Parnow Meadow, in 
Ditchingham, for teaching poor children to read and write ; and Henry Smith gave a 
portion of rent, which for the year 1828 was 36. 12s. Sd., and the amount is dis- 
tributed in bread among poor persons. 

Christian Wharton, in 1577, by will, directed the persons enfcoffed of her five alms- 
houses in the parish of the Holy Trinity to dwell therein, and take the profits of the 
same while they should dwell there. These almshouses consist of five small tenements 
under one roof, and are occupied rent free by poor widows. There are also church 
lands belonging to each parish, and several minor charities, the aggregate amount of 
which, arising from various sources, is about 470 per annum. The town lands are 
vested in, or under the management of, the Townreeve, and feoft'ees of the town or town 
lands of Bungay. 


No. 1. Ob., arms of the Company of Brewers, circumscribed * THOMAS NOWELL. 

Rev., in the centre T. N., circumscribed * IN BVNGAY. 1GGO. 
No. 2. Ob., in the centre T. w., circumscribed & THOMAS : WALCOTT. 

Rev. T. w. OF : BVNGEY. 1660. 

No. 3. Ob., in the centre a castle, circumscribed DIGGOTTS + IN . BONGAY. 

Rev. ,, T. T. (town token) 1GG4, circumscribed FOR CHANGE NOT FRAVDE. 

No. 4. Ob., in the centre arms of Drapers' Company, circumscribed * HENRY WEBSTER IN 

Rev. > H I * BVNGAY DRAPER. 67 . 

No. 5. Oh., in the centre arms of Grocers' Company, circumscribed * HENRY BLOMFEILD 
Rev. HJ * OF BVNGEY. 1670. 

A seal, supposed to relate to the foundation of one of the churches at Bungay, 
was lately in the possession of Mr. James Fenner, who formerly kept the White Lion 
Inn at Eye. The matrix is of brass, and excellently preserved. The figures represented 
are the Virgin and Child, the former seated on a throne, the child on her lap. In the 
front of them is a monk in the attitude of prayer, from whose mouth are issuing the 
words " Ave M:, Hail Maria! " The circumscription is very obscure, but is thus read 
by the Rev. Mr. Duck, a Roman Catholic clergyman of Bungay : " Sigillum propitia? 
ecclesiae et pendentibus de Beongei ;" the seal of her propitious to the church, and 



those relying on her. This reading is very ingenious, but I fear the letters are not 
sufficiently clear to warrant this version altogether, though I confess I have no better 
interpretation to offer. 

St. Mary's parish contains 

Arable, pasture, wood, and buildings 
Public roads and waste 
Halt' the river 

Holy Trinity parish contains 
Arable, pasture, &c. 
Uoads, &c. 
Half the river 

Outney Common 
Half the river 

Stow fen . 
Half the river 


A. U. P. 

867 3 29 

14 2 12 

2 2 24 

885 2.0 

1301 3 29 

25 2 18 


1332 1 15 

401 3 31 

7 2 27 

409 2 18 

87 2 27 

1 1 20 

89 7 

27 Ki 25 


Gross Rent-Charge payable to the Titheowners in lieu of Tithes for the Parish of Bungay Trinity, in 
the County of Suffolk (including 2. 3s. 6d. for appropriate Tithe of Glebe, at 5s. per acre ; and 
7*. 2d. for Vicarial Tithe of Glebe, at 9d. per acre), 347. Is., viz. : 

. . d. 

To the Vicar 75 2 8 

Appropriator . . . . . 242 1 1 6 

-William Denny, Impropriator , . . 2170 

The Rev. Courtenay Boyle Bruce . . . 13 

The Devisees of John Cuddon . . . 154 

Frances Barlee 296 

The heirs of Robert Butcher . . . . 14 

L The Duke of Norfolk 340 

Total Rent-Charge paid 
to Impropriators 

347 7 


This is a small parish, containing about 740 acres of land, with a population of only 
71 souls, according to the last census. It is now the manor of the Rev. Jeremy Day, 
of Hetherset. 

The advowson of St. John's Church was conveyed in the year 1267, by Sir James 
de Ilketshall, with one acre of land, which he held of Robert de Meynwaryn, to the 
Prioress of Bungay ; whose successor, with monastic rapacity, obtained its appropriation 
in 1307, as has been already shown. It passed with the other possessions of Bungay 
Nunnery, in the sixteenth century, to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, and lapsed to the 
Crown, on the attainder of his unfortunate grandson, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 
It has never been re-granted ; and is one of the Crown livings in the patronage of the 
Lord Chancellor. 

There is an ancient and singular intrenchment in this parish, about three quarters 
of a mile eastward of the church, which consists of a conical hill encircled by a moat, 
and strengthened with a breastwork and outer ditch on the south. The hill, which is 
now not more than fifteen feet high, is about ninety feet in diameter at the base ; and 
the breastwork measures one hundred and eighty-six feet, from east to west, which is 
its greatest extent, projecting only one hundred and eleven to the south. The whole 
site is closely planted with trees and underwood. Though decidedly not a Roman 
work, its position near the Roman road, called Stone-street, proves it to have been 
a speculatory fort, some how or other connected with that military way. It was 

VOL. I. X 


probably raised by the Danes, who had a more important fortress on the north side of 
the river, at Earsham. A spoon, part of a brooch, and a spur, all of brass, have been 
dug up on the mound, but they are of an age many centuries posterior to the Danish 
dynasty in England. 

The church is a small unpretending edifice, comprising a nave and chancel only, 
with a square tower at the west end, open to the body of the church. The whole fabric 
is in sound condition, and most reputably kept. In the tower is one bell with this 
legend : 

>anrte $ftit, ora pro me. 

A lancet window on the north side of the chancel shows this to be the very edifice 
existing when the benefice was granted to the Nuns of Bungay. The font is octangular, 
and bears the arms of Mowbray and Bigot. 

Monuments. Thomas Colman, celebrated for his virtues, hospitality, and devotion 
in God's house of prayer, fell asleep without sigh or groan, Feb. 18, 1695. 

Richard Chase, M.A., Minister of this parish, and Rector of Hempstead cum 
Lessingham, and Ellingham in Norfolk, died March 23, 1785, aged 70 years. 

Samuel Crisp, A.M., Rector of this parish and Ellingham, died July 4, 1717, 
aged 09. 

Ann, relict of John Gooch, of Bungay, was buried Sept. 3, 1(579. 

In the church-yard are altar-tombs for Richard Day, Gent., of Yoxford, who died 
May 2, 1811, aged 40. Cath. his wife died 13th August in the same year, aged 30. 
Richard Day, Gent., died Sept. 10, 1802, aged 55 years. Sarah his wife died Jan. 10, 
1818, aged 09. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Sim. de Birston . . 1301 Prioress and Convent of Bungay. 

Roger de Kcnyngton . 1325 Id. 

Richard de Melton . . 1329 Id. 

Simon Blakeman . . 1329 Id. 

Robert Serle . . . 1341 Id. 

Alex, de Boyne de Beccles 1351 Id. 

John Heved de N. Burlingham 1356 Id. 

John Pryk . 1380 Id. 

William Cukhoohe . . 1408 Id. 

William Botyed de Depham 1415 Id. 

Thomas Porter . . 1435 Id. 

Robert Rethford . . 1460 Id. 

William Savey . . 14C2 Id. 



Rectors. Date. 

John Hardy . . . 1470 

Robert Coseler . . 1480 

William Spicer . . 1538 

Robert Hunne . . 1554 

John Greffith . . 1555 

John Leake . . . 15/5 

Alexander Smith . . 1579 

Clement Bacon . . 1608 

Abraham Swallow . . 1609 

Richard Hawys . . 1626 

Amyas Readinge . . 1626 

Michael Adams . . 1661 

Jonathan Bridecake . 1664 

Thomas Castles . . 1674 

John Pyke ... 1680 

Samuel Crispe . . 1687 

Samuel Batho . . 1/17 

John Mingay . . 1738 

Richard Chase . . 1761 

William Walker . . . 1786 

William Walker, 2nd time 1820 

Russel Richards . - 1832 

George Henry Bosanquet . 1835 

Charles James Hutton 1837 


Prioress and Convent of Bungay. 

Thomas, Duke of Norfolk. 

The King and Queen. 
William Dix and Will. Cautrell. 
The Crown. 
Id., revoking the Institution of Hawys. 


Estimatio ejusdem xiij marc: Synodalia per an: ix rf . Denarij S. Petri, iv rf . ob. 
The parish registers commence in 1538. 


Chief part of this parish lies in Sir Windham Balling's manor of Ilketshall 
Bardolph. I can discover no traces of the old Bardolph Hall. 

There is also a manor called Ilketshall Seckford, which, about the year 1600, 
belonged to Isaac Cooper, Esq., who had his seat here ; for Judith Eachard, widow, by 
her will, dated June 27, 1657, authorized John Eachard, Gent., and Laurence Eachard, 
Clerk, of Yoxford, her executors, to sell " all that her manor of Ilketshall Seckford, and 
all her capital messuage thereupon built, situate and being in the parish of St. Laurence 
in Ilketshall, &c., which were devised to her by the last will and testament of Isaac 


Cooper, late of St. Laurence aforesaid, Esq., her late deceased father." In 1662, the 
executors surrendered to John Vynar, Gent. ; and in 1671, Richard Vynar, his brother 
and heir, was admitted. 

In 1696, Samuel Pycroft, Clerk, and in 1710, Samuel his son, were lords. 62 
In 1672, Sir Edward Bysshe, Clarenceux, granted or confirmed to this family of 
Eachard the following arms: Erm. on a bend azure 3 chessrooks or; 63 but as their 
predecessors at Barsham bore the charges, as given in that parish, they were probably 
at that time assumptive. 


of this parish was appropriated to the Priory of Bungay by the Countess Gundreda, its 
foundress, in the reign of Henry II., and became at the Dissolution a perpetual curacy 
of the certified value of 5. 12*. 4d, Its revenues were then granted to Thomas, Duke 
of Norfolk. Anthony Style, Gent., died in 1739, impropriator of the great and small 
tithes, allowing a stipend of 5 per annum to the curate, " according to ancient 
custom," who officiated once a month, and performed other occasional duty. In 1810, 
James Chapman was the impropriator. The benefice has been twice augmented with 
Queen Anne's bounty, by which means an estate has been purchased which yields to 
the officiating minister 15 per annum, after paying taxes and repairing the premises; 
and an additional estate in Topcroft, in Norfolk, which renders about 28 per annum ; 
in consideration of which increase of salary the minister performed divine service, in 
ls()l, once a fortnight. Service is now performed here every Sunday, in the morning 
and afternoon, alternately ; and the fabric of the church, which a few years since w r as in 
a most woeful and disreputable condition, has been repaired and restored to a neat and 
creditable state. The present impropriator is the Rev. Jeremy Day, of Hetherset, in 
Norfolk, and the incumbent the Rev. James Cutting Saff'ord, of Mettingham, who is 
also the patron of the perpetual curacy. 

The church comprises a small nave and chancel with a square tower, in which hang 
two bells. On a brass plate on the floor of the nave is the following legend : 

tjcrr unfcer Itrtl) tljt bofcte of ftfrbarft Seetesf, tofto fcrpartefc tfyte lite tfce 
s of jfflbruarie in tbt peare of our ilorlj 1613. 

Maria Doggett, daughter of James Chapman, of Bungay, died October 18, 1819, 
aged 10 years. 

The registers commence in 1559. 

62 Jermvn MSS. Harl. MSS. 1103. 



Curates. Date. Patrons. 
Thomas Lubbock 

Valentine Lumley . . 1754 John Strange, Yeoman. 

Thomas Reeve . . 1794 Mr. James Chapman. 

Henry Stebbing . . 1824 Henry Stebbing, Clk. 

Henry Stebbing, 2nd time 1826 Id. 

Edward Barker Frere . 1830 John Hanbury Williams, Esq. 

James Cutting Safford . 1840 Elizabeth Chartres. 

Estimatur ad xl*. Synodalia per ami: xij rf . Denarij S. Petri, iv*. 

Population, in 1841, 221. 


contains 20SS acres, 2 roods, and 16 perches of heavy but fertile land, with a popu- 
lation of 315 souls. 

On the 3rd of March, twenty-sixth of Queen Elizabeth, Philip Chapman, alias 
Barker, of Sibton, Gent., in consideration of a certain sum of money, not mentioned, 
did grant, bargain, sell, &c., unto William Goodie, the elder, John Gooch, the elder, 
Edward Woodville, the elder, John Cory, the elder, William Gooch, the younger, 
Robert Gooch, and others, owners of estates lying in St. Margaret Ilketshall, " all those 
two pieces of land and pasture, adjoining, containing in the whole by estimation 
30 acres; be there more or less; lying and being in Peasenhall, aforesaid, &c., to 
hold, &c., to the said Gooche, &c., their heirs and assigns for ever, upon trust, and to 
be feoffees for the whole of the inhabitants of the said parish of St. Margaret Ilketshall ; 
that with the issues and profits of the premises, such books and ornaments, meet and 
convenient for the service of God, which the inhabitants of the parish were bound to 
find, might be provided the parish church of the said parish decently and orderly 
repaired the old, poor, and aged and impotent people of the said parish charitably 
relieved, and other charges and burdens of the said parish borne and defrayed." 64 

Henry Smith, Esq., by deed, dated January 26th, 1626, devised a gift to be 
bestowed in clothing, bread, flesh, or fish, among the poor of the parish of St. Margaret 
Ilketshall, who have been inhabitants above five years. There is a clause excluding 
from the benefits of this donation, " any who are guilty of excessive drinking, or profane 

64 Jermyn MSS. 


swearing, pilfering, and other scandalous crimes; or are vagrants, or idle persons, 
or have been incorrigible when servants, or do entertain inmates." "But if any 
clothing be given, it shall be in upper garments, on the right arm of which shall be a 
badge with the letters U.S., that it may be known to be the gift of the said Henry 
Smith." Is not this sounding a trumpet before thee, when thou doest thine alms? 
" Upon default of any of the conditions in this bequest being fulfilled, the parish 
is to lose the benefit of this charity for one yeare." The estates charged with this 
donation are situated at Tolleshunt Darcy, in Essex, and produce about 4 per 


comprises a nave and chancel without aisles, and an ancient round tower at the west 
end, in which arc three bells. The edifice was covered till very lately with thatch, 
scarcely water-proof, which has recently given place to slate. The interior is neat, and 
reputably kept, but the fittings far inferior to what they should be, in a church so well 
endowed as this is. The fabric is probably very ancient, though the windows partake 
of the perpendicular character; and the only remarkable feature it possesses is the 
rather curious stone which forms the lintel of the chancel doorway. There is a narrow 
arch, now built up in the cast wall, which probably led in former days to a chapel now 
destroyed. The family of Hunne, or Hunn, were formerly of some importance here, 
and bore for arms, a lion ramp, guardant 

Susanna, Thomaa Hun, gen. conjux, obiit 28 Decemb. 1658, set. 28. Tobias, 
ejusdem Thomae et Susanna? films, obt. Deccm. 14, 1680, act. 22. 

Maria, Thomae Hunn, gen. conjux, obiit 26 Feb. 1683, set. 45. 

Thomas Hunne, gen. obiit 8 Aug., 1689, aet. 56. 

Charles Pinson, Gent., died a widower, September 1st, 1786, aged 78. 

The great tithes of this parish having been appropriated to Bungay Nunnery on its 
first foundation, the benefice has ever since been a vicarage. The impropriation is now 
in the family of Patteson. The great and small tithes are both commuted ; the former 
for a rent-charge of 528, and the latter for 121. 10s. There are 40 acres and 
23 perches of glebe land, belonging to the vicar; and 15 per annum are payable 
to the Rector of St. John Ilketshall, as the value of his great and small tithes for 
68 acres, 1 rood, and 29 perches of land lying in this parish. The parish registers 
commence in 1538. 





William Aleman 
Richard de Rattlesden 
Richard de Wortham 
William Thornekyn de Colkirk 
Philip Grenlyng de Yakesly 
Reg. Bishop . 
Hugo Cleres de Dychingham 
Robert Waryner de Ryburgh 
Hugo de Cantasthorp 
Barth. Beneyt 
Roger de Benieby 
Walter, fil. Gilbert de Tilney 
John de Middleton . 
John Cappe 

John Norman de Bestou . 
Galf. Crow de Wyrlingham 
William Skirbek de Multon 
Robert Richardson . 
William Waniyr 
William Warnyr 

John . 

Leon Goldbeter 
Robert Wilson 
William Tomson 
William Boys 
John Greffith . 
Richard Mericocke . 
Thomas Gooche 
Robert Richardson . 
Richard Bradley 
William Buck 
Hugo Ashley 
Alexander Shipdham 
John Strowger 
Eliazar Sheene 
Henry Fenton 
John Hacon 
William Evans 
Valentine Lumley 
John Clement Ives . 
Patrick Ballinghall Beath . 
Estimatio ecclie xviij marc : estimatio 


Date. Patrons. 

1313 Prioress and Convent of Bungay. 

1313 Id. 

1323 Id. 

1327 Id. 

1333 Id. 

1351 Id. 

1374 Id. 

1375 Id. 
1378 Id. 
1381 Id. 
1383 Id. 
1388 Id. 

1394 Id. 

1395 Id. 
1418 Id. 
1421 Id. 
1453 Id. 

1457 The Bishop, by lapse. 

1458 Id. 
1466 Id. 

1504 Prioress and Convent of Bungay. 

1513 The Bishop, by lapse. 

1541 Rich d . Wharton, Arm. assign. Prioress, et Conv. 

1554 Thomas, Duke of Norfolk. 

1557 Id. 

15G7 Id. 

1570 Id. 

1572 The Bishop, by lapse. 

1576 Will. Dix and Will. Cautrell. 

1625 The Earl of Arundell and Surrey. 

16G3 Henry Howard. 

1679 Henry, Duke of Norfolk . 

1694 Charles, Duke of Somerset. 

1731 John Anstis, Garter King at Arms. 

1755 Valentine Lumley. 

1 794 The Duke of Norfolk. 

1812 Id. 

Vicarise illius vj marc. Synodalia per ann: ii s . viij rf . Denarij 
S. Petri, xvj rf . 


THE name of this village in Domesday Book is Metingaham ; and in subsequent records 
it is written Metynham, and finally Mettingham. It is a compound of three Saxon 
words, signifying a village or dwelling place situated near low meadows. 

The higher part of this parish lies on a range of hills forming the southern boundary 
of the valley of the Waveney, and commands a pleasant prospect over the meadows 
below, and the opposite hills on the Norfolk side. The soil is rich, and the air 
salubrious, bracing, and healthy. 

At the time of the Norman Survey, Mettingham was returned among the possessions 
of Earl Hugh. It had then a church endowed with twenty acres of glebe, and was an 
improving estate. 

In the reign of Edward I., Sir John de Norwich was lord, and obtained from that 
monarch, in 1302, a grant of free-warren in Mettingham, Shipmeadow, Redesham, &c. 
In the ninth of Edward II., Walter de Norwich held it, and in the reign of Edward III. 
it was the manor of Sir John de Norwich, the same w r ho built the castle. He died in 
1361, when the manor devolved to his grandson, also named Sir John, who dying at 
Mettingham Castle, in 1373, appointed his body to be buried at Raveningham, by the 
side of his father, Sir Walter, " there to rest, till it could be removed to the new church 
of Norton-coupe-cors," to the building of which he gives 450. Leaving no issue, his 
cousin, Catharine de Brews, inherited as next heir, being daughter and heiress of Thomas 
de Norwich, brother to the founder of the castle. 1 In the reign of Richard II., Catharine 
de Brews, being then a nun, at Dartford, in Kent, conveyed this manor to the college in 
Mettingham Castle, 2 lately removed thither from Raveningham, in Norfolk. It continued 
to augment its possessions till the reign of King Henry VIII., who granted it, in 1541, 
to Sir Anthony Denny. By an inquisitio post mortem, taken at Bury on the 16th of 
April, in the fourth of Edward VI., Sir Anthony was found to die on the 10th of 
September preceding, seized, inter alia, of the castle and manor of Mettingham, held of 
the King in capite. 3 In the fifth of Elizabeth, Henry Denny held them, with license 
of alienation to Nicholas Bacon ; and in the eighth of Elizabeth, this Nicholas occurs as 
lord and patron of the church ; with right of free-fishery in the waters of Bungay, Ship- 
meadow, Barsham, and Beccles, with license of alienation to Sir Robert Catlin. This 
change, however, seems never to have taken place, as the Bacons were lords in the 
twenty-sixth of the same reign, 4 and retained possession till 1675, when they transferred 

1 Tower Records. 2 Id. 3 Cole's Esch. v. p. 27. 4 Harl MSS. 


the manor and castle to John Hunt, Esq., whose grandson, Tobias Hunt, dying in the 
following century without issue, these estates fell to Mary and Grace Hunt, his coheiresses. 
James Safford, of Ipswich, Esq., married Grace, the younger sister, and was the father 
of the Rev. James Safford, late Vicar of Mettingham, who died without issue ; and of 
John Safford, who married Martha Smith, and was the father of Samuel Safford, Esq., 
who married Mary Cole, and held, in right of his grandmother, a moiety of the castle 
and estate, and was the father of the Rev. James Cutting Safford, who resides at the 
castle, and is the sole lord of the manor, having derived the other moiety of this estate 
from his great uncle, Burham Cutting, the son of Mary Hunt, the eldest coheiress of 
Tobias Hunt, aforesaid, by her husband, Burham Cutting, Esq. The Rev. James Cutting 
Safford, who thus holds Mettingham castle and manor, married Louisa, daughter of 
the late Rev. James Chartres, B.D., and has issue. 

The old court book of the manor of Mettingham Castle is in quarto, and now in the 
possession of Mr. Safford. All the initial letters are beautifully drawn, and illuminated -. 
it is entitled, " Nomina tenentium in hoc libro Manerio de Mettingham Castle, pertinent : 
alphabetice descripta." 

The family of De Norwich, so early enfeoffed of Mettingham, and to whom the 
village owes its principal attraction at the present day, is believed by the most judicious 
genealogists to have descended from the Bigots, Earls of Norfolk. About the reign of 
Richard I., surnames began to be adopted in England for the distinction of families ; 
and younger brothers, knowing that the elder only kept their father's names, assumed 
to themselves surnames from the places of their birth, or from manors and lands allotted 
to them. According to this custom, Sir John de Norwich assumed for his surname the 
place of his birth, changing his father's armorial cognizance in some particulars, but 
retaining the same partition and charge ; and seated himself at Mettingham. Thus, as 
the arms of Bigot were, per pale, or and vert, a lion rampant gules ; Sir John took 
for his coat, per pale, azure and gules, a lion rampant ermine ; which bearing is 
remaining in a north window of the nave in Mettingham church. This descent of the 
family of De Norwich from the powerful Earls of Norfolk is in a great measure confirmed 
by the fact, that we find it, from its very origin, filling places of high trust and confidence. 

VOL. I. Y 


Mr. George Buck, in his commentary upon Domesday Book, 5 at the end of the description 
of Norfolk, says, in title ' liberi homines regis,' there is named a Gozelinus de Norwich, 
who is styled a Baron by King William the First. I can hardly, however, consider him 
as belonging to the Mettingham family, which must have branched at a later period. In 
the year 1204, mention is made of Galfridus de Norwich, " Justiciarius Judaeorum," who, 
with Robert Fitzwalter and Stephen Ridel, was the first agitator of the insurrections 
against King John. 6 

In the thirty-seventh of Henry III. occurs R. de Norwico, Chancellor of Ireland ; and 
in the fifth of Edward II. 7 we meet with Walter de Norwich, one of the Barons of the 
Exchequer, constituted locum tenens of the Treasurer till the King could provide one. 
On the 25th of October in the same year, he was admitted one of the Privy Council, 
and in 1314 summoned to Parliament. Two years afterwards he was appointed Chief 
Baron of the Exchequer, 8 and in the twentieth of the same reign made locum tenens of 
William de Melton, Archbishop of York, and Treasurer to the King. 9 This distinguished 
member of the family married Katharine, daughter of John, and sister to Sir Simon de 
Hetherset, and was father of Sir John dc Norwich, his no less distinguished son, who 
founded Mettingham Castle. In the eighth of Edward III., 10 Sir John was appointed 
Admiral " versus partes orientales," and subsequently summoned to Parliament as a 
Baron. He was governor of Angouleme in France, where he saved his garrison by a 
stratagem, in which his finesse appears more remarkable than his valour. 11 He was, 
however, a gallant soldier, and several times employed in the wars carried on against 
France and Scotland, in which he performed such signal services, that the King rewarded 
him, not only with two allowances out of his Exchequer the one of 60. 14s., and 
the other of five marks per annum, but also granted him a license for a market on 
Fridays, weekly, and a fair for three days, annually, at his manor of Great Massingham 
in Norfolk, with permission to make castles of his manor-houses at Mettingham in 
Suffolk, and Blackworth and Ling in Norfolk. He had a brother, Thomas de Norwich, 
also a great warrior, who in 1378 received a commission from Richard II. to buy two 
great and two small cannons in London, or any other place ; and also to purchase 
certain quantities of saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal, with large stones, &c., for 
ammunition. 12 

5 MS. pen. D. Benham, Esq., of London. 6 Tower Records. 

7 Tower Records, meinb. 12. 8 Id. memb. 11. 9 Id. memb. 24. 

Id. memb. 4. u Froissart (Jolmes), vol. ii. chap. 118. 13 Rymer. 


Sir John de Norwich, Lord 

of Mettingham, temp. Edw. I. 


Sir Walter de Norwich. =; 

- Katharine Hetherset. 

Sir John de Norwich, = 
built Mettingham Castle, 
obt. 1361. 

= Margaret. Sir Roger de Sir Thomas de = 
Norwich. Norwich. 

Robert Ufford, = Margaret de 
Earl of Norwich. 

Walter de 
Norwich, died 
in his father's 

= Wolirna Catharine 
Stapleton, Norwich 
of Bedale, 


De Brews. 


I 1 1 
Robert William Ufford, Cicely = 
Ufford, Earl of Suffolk, Ufford. 
obt. obt. S. P. 1382. 

| Sir John de 
= Lord Cath'. Robert, Margaret W 1 ". Norwich, obt. 
Willougbby Ufford. Lord Ufford. Lord S. P. at Met- 
D'Eresby. Scales. Ferrers, tingham Castle 
of Groby. an. 1373. 

Although the manor and castle of Mettingham were transferred to the college there, 
the greater part of the possessions of Catharine dc Brews devolved, on her retiring from 
the world, to her kinsman, William de Ufford, the son of Margaret, de Norwich, who 
died suddenly while entering the House of Lords, in the year 1382. 

His widow, Isabell, daughter of Thomas Beaucharnp, Earl of Warwick, took the 
veil soon after, in presence of the Lords Willoiighby and Scales, who had married her 
husband's sisters. The transaction is thus recorded in the register of Thomas Arnndell, 
Bishop of Ely. 13 "Item memorand: q rt nobil : Dna Isabella, Comitissa Snff: 21 March' 
supradic: coram snmino altare eccl: prioratns pradicti, (de Campesey) in presencia 
Rcv dor Patrum et dominorum Thome Epi, Elien, Missani tune ibidem solempniter 
celebrantis, et Henr. Norwicen: Epi, pontificalibus induti, et alior: plnrimor: Abbatum 
et Priorum eisdem assistencium, Votuin vovit solempniter castitatis prout sequitur in 
hec verba. 

" ' Jeo Isabella, jadiis la feme William de Ufford, Count de Suff: vowe a Dieu, ct a 
nre dame Seynte Marie et a toux Seyntes en psence de tre reverentz piers en Dieu, 
Evesq: de Ely, et de Norwiz, q d jeo doi estre chast dors en avaunt ma vie dm'ante.' 

" Et Dno Elien, vice et auctoritate dci dni Norwicen votum tune reccpit et 
admisit, et mantellum, sive clamidem, et anuliun dicte voventis solempniter bcnedixit, 
et imposuit super cam. Presentibus eciam ibidem comite Warwici, diio de Wyloweby, 
dno de Scales, ac aliis militibus et armigeris, et aliis in multitudine copiosa." 

On the partition of William de Ufford's property, an interest in Mettingham Castle 
seems to have remained with Lord Eresby, in right of his wife Cicely, the eldest daughter 

13 Cole's MSS. vol. xxiv. 


of Margaret de Norwich ; for we find this nobleman and his successors presenting five 
several masters to Mettingham College, as patrons of that establishment. Their last 
presentation took place in 1452. 

John de Mettingham, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in the reign of 
Edward III., was probably born here, as there is no other parish of a similar name in 
the kingdom ; though the assertion of some writers that he was a scion of the family of 
De Norwich is unsupported by any record. His character for learning, justice, 
and integrity, would, however, reflect lustre on any descent. Fuller tells us, "to 
his eternal praise, that when the rest of the judges were fined and ousted for corruption 
(18 Edward III.), this Mctingham, and Elias de Beckingham, continued in their places, 
whose innocence was of proof against all accusations ; and as Caleb and Joshua, 
amongst the jury of false spies, so these two amongst the twelve judges, retained their 
integrity." The same author informs us that in the twentieth of the same reign, the 
King directed a writ to John de Mettingham respecting the number of attorneys-at-law. 
" The Lord the King hath enjoined John de Mettingham, and his assistants, that they, 
according to their discretion, provide and ordain a certain number out of every county, 
of such persons which, according to their understanding, shall appear unto them of the 
better sort, and most legal, and most willingly applying themselves to the learning 
of the law, what may better avail for their court, and the good of the people of the 
land, &c. And it seem likely to the King and his Counsel, that seven score may 
suffice for that purpose. However, the aforesaid justices may add more, if they see 
ought to be done, or else they may lessen the number." 

" Sonic conceive," continues Fuller, " this number of seven score confined only to 
the Common Pleas, whereof Mettingham was Chief Justice. But others behold it 
as extended to the whole land, this judge's known integrity being intrusted in their 
choice and number ; which number is since much increased ; and no wonder ; our land 
being grown more populous, and the people in it more litigious." 

Amongst the benefactors to the University of Cambridge, prayer is directed to 
be made " pro anima Diii John de Metyngham." 

In 15G1, Mettingham had three freeholders out of the one hundred and sixty-nine, 
which the Hundred of Wangford then contained. 1 * 

Amidst the voluminous collection of charters preserved in the British Museum is 
" Carta Constantini Mortymer, et Johannis fil: Johannis de Norwico, Willielmo 
Garneys et Elizabethae, uxori suaa, filia? Radulphi Bigot, Mil: de duobus molendinis 
aquaticis, cum stagnis, aquis piscariis, &c., et cum terr: in Elyngham, Broom, et 
Pirnowe, in Norfolk, Metyngham, et Shipmedow, in Com: Suff.;" dated the fourth 

14 Lansdowne MSS. vol. v. 

1'. Bedford I. ilho 


Printed I.- Standid^c * Cr 


of Henry IV. There is also, without date or seal, " Carta Daniehs de Beccles Roberto 
Thirkild, de ter: in vill: de Metyngham;" and an indenture, dated the thirty-first 
of Henry VIII. (1539), between Charles, Duke of Suffolk, and Thomas, Bishop of 
Ipswich, guardian and master of the college of Mettyngham, concerning the manor of 


About a mile to the southward of the church stand the shattered walls and massive 
gateway of the castle, mouldering emblems of its original grandeur. This fortress 
was founded by Sir John de Norwich; who obtained a license from Edward III. 
to castellate his residence here, in reward for his services in the French wars. The 
foundation deed is dated on the 21st of August, 1342. 

Dfi <ra -ftfj; 8ngl: ft Jfranrif ft J3omt'mts> $>ibm'f omntbs 
ft fifoflibs Stus> afc quog presented litere pbem'unt saluteuu Jz>riatis 
qtr He graria nodtra stpeciali rontt&imud ft limttt'am tortrimug pro nobts 
et fcerefcibs nrtsf Uilfcto ft fifofli ifro 3ol)i He ^ortoi'ro qfc ipse manda 
mam'or stwr He ^letjntsftam m rmmtatu ^uffi ft 33Iafe--iuortf) ft JCpff in 
torn ^orfR muro trf pftra ft talre fl'rmare ft femtdlare ft mansa tlla sir 
ftrmata ft feentfllata tfitfrf poSSt't, 6ibt ft ftereUibss ^tu'g fit ppetuum sfine 
ocrast'oitf bfl fmpfUfmfnto liri bfl ftfrebum nTom bfl mmfstror m'or 
quorninq. 5n nu'us ret tesftfmontttm ftas Iftterasf nrasf fieri fen'mttss patfntes 
teste me t'po apulr 2He6tmonas!tfnum buesimo pn'mo Hie Slugusiti 3nno 
regitf nri Snslt'e Hecuno septi'mo rfgni bfro liri jfrancif quarto. 

p, Iti-f if pnbato 

Endorsed of the farm and fortified castle of Metyngham, granted to the Lord John 
de Norwich. 15 

The seal attached to this deed is an impression, in green wax, of the great seal 
of England, the matrix of which was made by order of King Edward III., about 
two years previous to the grant. It is circular, and four inches and a half in diameter ; 
and represents the King on his throne with a rich triple canopy over his head, and 
seven compartments of tracery panelling behind him. A lion sits at each knee, 
and beneath a pointed arch on either side is suspended a shield, quartering France and 
England. The King holds the orb in his left hand : his right rests on lus thigh, and 

15 From the original license, copied by the author in 1820, and then in the possession of J. B. Plow- 
man, of Normanston, Esq. 


behind his arm stands the sceptre. The circumscription reads thus : + Edwardus : 
Dei : Gracia : Rex : Francie : et : AngHe : et : Dominus : Hibernie. The reverse bears 
the same legend, and encircles Edward on horseback ; charging at full speed. He is 
completely armed, his helmet closed, his sword drawn, and his shield slung before him ; 
on which are blazoned the arms of France and England, quarterly. The surcoat of the 
monarch and the trappings of the charger are embroidered with the same heraldic 
bearings. The execution of this device is spirited and fine. 

The form adopted by Sir John de Norwich for his castle was a parallelogram, 
of which the north and south sides were rather the greatest; and its area, taking 
in the site of a college of priests, afterwards attached to it, included nine acres and 
a half. Being compelled to return to the French wars, the completion of the castle 
was intrusted to the charge of Dame Margaret, his wife, who built the keep, or citadel 
of the fortress, which she placed on the west side of the first court. We are indebted 
to old Leland for this anecdote of her ladyship, who says, " Accepi hujus Norwici 
uxorem antiquiorem castelli partcm, co militante, construxisse : haec pars antiquior est 
in interiori partc domus, ncc conferenda cum novis ao-dificiis." 16 The castle had 
a massive square tower at each angle, but the principal entrance was through the great 
gate-house on the north, which remains tolerably entire. Here may be seen the deep 
groove in which the portcullis was worked, and part of the projecting barbican, with 
the entrances to the macliicolated gallery above it. There is a range of wide windows 
in the curtain westward of the great entrance gate, which, though placed high in 
the wall, bespeaks a total neglect of the jealous precaution usually exercised in 
castellated architecture. They are, traditionally, said to have lighted the great 

In 13b2, the castle was conveyed, as will be presently shown, to an establishment 
of monks, and became thenceforth rather a monastery than a feudal fortress ; and 
its history furnishes this very remarkable fact, that it existed as a castle only forty years 
from the period of its foundation, and remained, for about one hundred and sixty, in 
the hands of ecclesiastics. Its latter possessors must have incorporated much of the 
church militant into their observances, to have preserved the fortress in a state of 
architectural integrity. 

The keep seems to have been converted into the residence of the master of the 
college, as the arms of Richard Shelton, one of the last masters, with several matches of 
his family, ornamented the walls of its apartments. The arms of Ufford, sab. a cross 
engrailed or, quartered with Beke, gul. a cross flory ermine. Brews, and or, a lion 
ramp, purpure impaling Brews, were also placed on its walls. 

16 Leland's Collectanea, vol. i. p. 61. 


At what period the keep fell into decay as a residence is uncertain, but it seems by 
the following extract from an original letter in the possession of Sir Thomas Gage, 
of Hengrave, that the Lord Keeper Bacon resided or visited at Mettingham. Sir 
Thomas Kitson, writing to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, relates several circumstances 
which took place " with my Lord Keeper when I awaited on him with my father-in-law, 
on Easter Wednesday in the morning, at which time we found him newly entered on 
his journey from his house at Redgrave toward Metyngham, and accompanied him 
about five or six miles on his way." The castle residence, however, went much into 
neglect soon after this period, because in 1738, when Buck published a view of it, 
dedicated to Tobias Hunt. Esq., the remains were then, not much more extensive than 
they are at present. After Mr. Hunt's decease, the habitable part of the castle was 
occupied for many years as a farm-house, and the ruins converted into barns and 
farming buildings ; till Samuel Safford, Esq., the father of the present possessor, pulled 
down the old house, and erected a new mansion on its site, retaining an angle of the 
old keep. 

The writer was resident, as a young man and curate of the parish at the time, 
and saw much of the work of Dame Margaret dc Norwich, which was then laid open. 
Several of the interior decorations, long hid, were found in excellent preservation,' the 
colours and gilding of the arms being fresh and brilliant. The discovery of these 
latter embellishments was the more interesting, as they are recorded in Ayscough's 
Catalogue, 1301, preserved in the British Museum, which says, "The arms of Ufford, 
quartering Bee or Beke, are said to be in a parlour in the chapel or college of 
Mettingham, now in the possession of Mr. Henry Denny." 

The family of Bee, or Beke, came over with William the Conqueror. Their name 
appears in the Roll of Battle Abbey, and is recorded in Domesday Book. They settled 
at Eresby in Lincolnshire, and from their heiress came the Willoughbys of Eresby, 
afterwards patrons of Mettingham College. 


On the 5th of July, 1382, license was granted to Sir Robert Howard, Sir John 
Plaiz, Sir Roger Boys, Knights ; John Woltcrton and Elias Byntre, Clerks ; executors 
under the will of Sir John de Norwich, Knight, the grandson of the founder of the 
castle, to remove the master and priests of Raveningham College, in Norfolk, to 
Mettingham Castle, and to endow them with the said castle, and several manors in 
Suffolk. 17 This translation, however, was so strongly opposed by the prioress and nuns 

17 Tower Records, 6 Ric. II. memb. 35. 


of Bungay, that it was not fully effected till 1393, in which year the King confirmed 
the " foundation and incorporation of a chantry at Mettingham Castle, translated from 
Raveningham to Norton Soup-cours, and thence to Mettingham." 18 The endowment 
of this college was very ample, as it embraced the manors of Ling, How, Blackworth, 
Hadeston, Snoring Parva, Ilketshall, Shipmeadow, Melles, Bromfield, Wenhaston, 
Redisham, and Mettingham ; the advowson and appropriation of the church of Raven- 
ingham and Norton ; the advowsons of Carlton Rode and Ling ; lands and tenements 
in East and West Wretham, and Illington ; lands in Barsham and Beccles ; the manor 
and advowson of Dalinghow ; a mediety of Bunwell ; the fifth part of the lordship of 
Alderton in Suffolk ; Holm Hall in Raveningham ; three messuages, 86 acres of land, 
5 of moor, 6 of alder, 12 of reed, and 4*. rent in Norton, &c. 19 These estates were 
returned at the time of its dissolution as producing an annual income of 238. 3s. lO^d., 
and a clear rental of 202. 7s. d. 

The establishment of the college consisted of thirteen chaplains at the time of its 
foundation; which number was reduced in 1535 to a master and eleven chaplains or 
fellows. Fourteen boys were also supported by the college, who served God, and were 
educated in it, at a charge of 28. 20 Richard Shelton, then master, and the fellows, 
subscribed to the King's supremacy in 1534; but another master was appointed in 
1539 by Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, in right of Catharine his wife, daughter of 
Lord Willoughby D'Eresby. The college was not surrendered to the King till the 8th 
of April, 1542 ; 21 but on the 14th of the same month and year, the whole was granted 
to Sir Anthony Denny, with the rectories of Raveningham and Norton. Its subsequent 
transfers have been shown under the history of the manor. 

Sir J. Joscelyne, one of the last fellows, had a pension granted him out of the 
revenues of the endowment by Henry VIII. 22 

Rather extensive remains of the college are standing within a quadrangular moat at 
the south-east angle of the castle. A very picturesque tower, which formed the most 
attractive feature in these ruins, fell down about seven years since during the night, with 
so little noise as not to have been heard by the inmates of the castle. It was called 
Kate's Tower, from Katharine de Brews, who probably contributed part of the 
inheritance which she derived from her kinsman, Sir John de Norwich, towards its 
construction ; but the tradition, that she therein immured herself for three weeks, to 
conceal the consequences of an illicit amour, must be altogether false, and a scandalous 
aspersion on her virtue; because we find her in 1374 a professed nun at Dartford, in 
Kent, which was several years before the college at Mettingham was built. She was, 

18 Tower Records, 18 Ric. II. m. 4. 19 Blomefield. Valor eccl. Ind. Monast., &c. 

20 Valor eccles. 21 Rymer, xiv. 746. 22 Jermyn MSS. 


therefore, not likely to have been at large in Suffolk twenty years afterwards. The 
chapel of this college was elegantly fitted, and in complete cathedral style, as we learn 
from the will of Richard Brawnce, master of the college, who by his will, dated in 1506, 
bequeaths his body to be buried in the church of the college of Mettingham " in choro, 
coram stallo meo, ubi lapis meus positus est." He leaves also to every priest of the 
college 6*. 8d., and " cuilibet alii sacerdoti venienti xijX," and to every other person 
attending his funeral \d., and to each boy of the college \d. 

The roof of this chapel, " which was a very fair roof," was carried in 1544 to Great 
Yarmouth, and placed upon the old Guildhall there, and covered with lead. 23 The fate 
of its brasen lecturn has been related in the account of Bungay, whither it was removed 
to adorn the principal church in that town. Nor was statuary so profusely employed 
as an ornament in olden days wanting at Mettingham. A piece of land, called 
Nolloths, was left to the college to find a wax-light for ever, to be burnt before the 
image of the blessed Virgin in the choir. The fame of St. Wandered, whose image also 
was here, attracted an annual peregrination to his shrine. 24 

About twelve or fourteen years ago, Mr. Safford, the present possessor of the site, 
digging amidst the ruins for the purpose of procuring building materials, discovered a 
vast quantity of fractured sculptured stones, and one of the chapel windows ; all of 
elegant and elaborate workmanship. They were found at the bottom of a crypt still 
partly vaulted over, which was about eight feet deep. The size or proportions of the 
chapel, it is said, could not be traced ; but the writer considers that careful digging would 
yet develop many interesting fragments and sepulchral memorials ; as many of the noble 
families connected with the founder were buried in this collegiate chapel. 25 It is said 
that six bells, belonging to the chapel, were found about fifty-years since, in cleansing 
the moat. Two formidable daggers, each about sixteen inches long, are now in Mr. 
Safford's possession, discovered within a few years, during a like process. 

Some of the music that was formerly used in the collegiate chapel was, at no very 
distant period, in the possession of a person living within a few miles of Harleston, in 
Norfolk. Application and interest have been employed to obtain a sight of it, but 
hitherto without effect. 26 

The last master of Mettingham College was Thomas Manning. He was Suffragan 
Bishop of Ipswich, and Prior of Butley Abbey. 27 Richard Shelton, his predecessor, 
was Archdeacon of St. Asaph, and " so expert in water-works, that his advice was 
asked in cutting Yarmouth Haven." 28 

The arms adopted by the college were those of Sir John de Norwich, the founder. 

23 Manship's Hist, of Yarmouth, MS. Symonds. 24 MS. pen. Epis. Norwic. 

25 Jermyn MSS. 26 Gillingwater's MSS. ' a Cole's MSS. vol. xxvii. 28 MSS. Symonds. 

VOL. I. Z 


The register of Mettingham College is in the collection of his Grace the Duke 
of Buckingham, at Stowe. It is in folio, and written on paper, and contains five 
hundred and twenty-six pages. The last two leaves are parchment. The writing is of 
the reign of Henry VIII., and all in one hand ; giving the limits and boundaries of the 
college possessions ; their denominations, rentals, &c. ; the grants by which they were 
obtained, copied from deeds of the reigns of Edward III., Richard II., Henry VI., and 
Edward IV. ; with some charters of Popes, granting privileges and immunities. One 
is a grant directed " Venerabili ct egregio viro Dno Willoughby, Militi, ac Dno de 
Willougliby, patrono Collegii." The last is dated in the first year of King Henry VIII. 
There is a memorandum in the inside cover, in Mr. Astle's hand-writing, stating that 
this Chartulary was formerly preserved in the library of Peter le Neve, afterwards in 
that of Mr. AV. T. Martin, and latterly in that of J. Ives, Esq., of Great Yarmouth. 

The seal of the college is a large oval, 3 inches by 2 inches. The only impression I 
have- seen is very imperfect. The Virgin Mary is represented as seated on a richly 
canopied throne, holding the infant Jesus, who stands on her right knee. There is a 
shield in the dexter compartment, charged with a lion rampant, the cognizance of the 
college. The legend is entirely defaced. 


Masters. Date. Patrons. 

Roger Withy . . . 1382 Sir John Plaiz. 

John Burghwode . . 1387 Sir John Plaiz. 

Richard Cratfield . . 1389 Sir John Plaiz. 

John le Neve . . 1392 Robert de Willonghby, Lord Eresby. 

John Willubey . . 1403 William, Lord Eresby. 

Thomas Whitehead . . 1425 Robert, Lord Eresby. 

Roger Boubridge . . 1444 Robert, Lord Eresby. 

William Fraunsham . . 1452 Robert, Lord Eresby. 

Robert Wright 1480 Sir Richard Hastings. 

Richard Branche . 1499 Sir Richard Hastings. 

Richard Weybred . 1507 Sir Richard Hastings. 

Richard Shelton . . 1520 Sir Richard Hastings. 

Thomas Manning . . 1539 Charles, Duke of Suffolk. 


There was a church at Mettingham in Saxon times, but the present edifice, though 
a very ancient structure, is of Norman foundation. It exhibits a very elegant doorway, 
on the north side of the nave, profusely ornamented with the chevron mouldings. 


The stone employed in this elaborate portal is of the very finest quality, and has braved 
the corroding blasts of our north-eastern gales for above seven centuries with little 
injury. The hand of man, however, has despoiled it of its columns, and failed to spare 
what time would have left unscathed. 

The church comprises a nave, with a south aisle, a chancel, and a round tower, with 
a large porch on the south side, in the west wall of which is a fire-place and chimney. 
The tower is girded, about midway of its height, with a strong band of iron ; but an 
examination of its interior presents no visible rent or decay, requiring such a singular 
appendage. It was put on about half a century ago, by the then churchwarden ; who, 
as he was also the village blacksmith, has exemplified the truth of the fable, that there 
is nothing like leather. In the south aisle is an inarched monument, with a handsome 
canopy : there is also a good octagonal font of stone, with the remains of some very 
rich stalls, and portions of a once elegant screen. 

The interior is kept in a very neat and reputable state, but is sadly disfigured by a 
barbarous east window. Besides the arms of DC Norwich, which yet remain, the 
windows of this church formerly contained the following cognizances. Ufford quartering 
Becke ; France and England quartered ; and, sab. an eagle displayed or. 

Having been early appropriated to Bungay Nunnery, this benefice became a 
vicarage. Upon the suppression of religious houses, the appropriation and advowson 
were granted, in the twenty-ninth of Henry A1IL, to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk ; 
but they were soon afterwards conveyed to Sir Nicholas Bacon, and united with 
the castle estates ; the Rev. James Cutting Safford being the present impropriator, 
and patron of the vicarage. 

The registers of this parish commence in the time of the Commonwealth ; and 
I quote the first page from them to show what advantages were gained by the nation 
in consequence of the Act of Parliament which deprived the parochial clergy of their 
custody, and transferred it to laymen. 


" Wherein are written all the Manages, Burths, and Burialls, accordinge to the late Act of Parlament 
made the 22 day of September, 1C53. 

" Richard Stannard, of the same towne, in the Countie of Suff., Gent., approved by us, whose handes 
are here under subscribed accordinge to the choice of him made by the Inhabitants of the said Parish, to 
have the keeping of the Booke, and sworne to performe the Office of a Register accordinge to an Act of 
Parlament made in the yeare of our Lord God one thousand sixe hundred fifty and three. 



Inhabitants of Utopia. 


Monument*. William Gooch, Esq., died 1685. Thomas Gooch, Gent., 1688. 
Attached to the monument are the arms of Gooch; party per pale, arg. and sab., 
a chevron between 3 talbots pass., counterchanged ; on a chief gules 3 leopards' faces 
or. These gentlemen were ancestors of the present Sir Thomas Gooch, Bart., of 
Benacre Hall, whose family appears to have sprung from this village. In 1537, I meet 
with the name of Thomas Gooch, as witness to a deed, now preserved in the parish 

Jacob Twiss, Gent., died 1706. George Robinson, died 1808, aged 79. 

There are many monuments of the Belwards, a family of ancient descent; being 
derived from Hugh dc Bel ward, who came over with the Conqueror. Their arms, 
which are placed over some of the monuments here, are party per pale gules and 
argent, 3 pheons reversed, counterchanged. 

In the reign of William the Conqueror, Robert Eitz-Hugh was Baron of Malpas in 
Cheshire, and held above thirty manors under Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, as appears 
by Domesday Book ; but leaving no issue male, this barony, at length, by marriage of 
the heir female, came into the famous and knightly family of the Belwards, as Camden 
styles it, of which was John le Belward de Malpas, who lived in Rufus's time : to 
him succeeded William his son, who was Baron of Malpas in right of his mother, who 
was Laetitia, daughter and heiress of Robert Eitz-llugh, and bore for arms 3 pheons, or 
dart heads. William, who was Baron of Malpas, left no legitimate issue ; but Philip, 
his next brother, and then possessed of the manor of Egcrton near Malpas, took, 
according to the custom of that age, the surname of Egerton from the place of his 
residence, and spread into many eminent and flourishing families, one of whose 
posterity is the Duke of Bridgewater. 

Viscount Malpas and Earl of Cholmondeley, 1706, descended from William le 
Belward, Baron Malpas. Robert, by the gift of his father, had the lordship of 
Cholmondeley, settled there, and assumed the name of the place. 

Thomas Cholmondeley, created Earl Delamere, 1821. 

Thomas Egerton, Earl of Wilton, descended from William le Belward, who assumed 
the name of Egerton. The twelfth in descent was Sir Rowland Egerton, created a 
Baronet in 1617. 

The Rev. Henry Belward Belward, of Mettingham (1845) assumed the name of his 
mother Esther, by the will of Dr. Richard Fisher Belward, who left him his estates. 

Maria, daughter of William Belward, Gent., died 1731. Anna, fourth daughter 
of William Belward, died 1736. William Belward, Gent., died 18th August, 1700, 
aged 54. Hannah, his fifth daughter, died 1753, aged 58. Susanna, widow of the 
Rev. Charles Cock, A.M., died of the small-pox, 1738, aged 72. Edmund Purdy, 
died 1618. William Hayward, died 1753, aged 68. John Youngs, died 1671. 


Elizabeth, relict of the Rev. James Chartres, formerly fellow of King's College, Cam- 
bridge, and vicar of Godmanchester, and West Haddon, obt. March 20, 1840, set. 76. 

James Cutting, eldest son of the Rev. James Cutting, and Louisa Safford, obt. 
July 9th, 1842, set. 16. 

The town estate of Mettingham produces a rental of about 100 per annum, and is 
under the management of feoffees chosen by the parishioners. The lands which 
produce this fine income were devised some centuries ago for parochial purposes ; but 
the exact intentions of the benefactors are not clearly understood. The proceeds of 
their bequests are applied to the reparation of the church ; in a distribution of coals to 
the poor ; and to other parish purposes, which are, perhaps, not altogether legitimate. 
Laurence Skete, of Mettingham, and others, gave several pieces of land and meadow 
ground for the use of the poor. Among the deeds preserved in the office of the Bishop 
of Norwich is the following record. " Villuta de Mettingham tenet 3 ac: ct dim-, terra 
nativae tenemti Stambornes Manerij in una pecia de Metyngham. Idem tenet 3 rodas 
terrae libera pertinentis gilde, et jac: in Metyngham inter unam semitam." 

Richard Umfrey, or Humfrey, Clerk, vicar of Mettingham in 1517, gave to the 
poor of this parish, lands, now let at 32. 7s. 0>d. The original deed is or was 
lately in the parish chest, and is dated " apud Metyngham, ultimo die mensis Maij 
Anno regni Regis Henrici septimo." 

As the above Richard Umfrey was also a liberal benefactor to the parish in other 
ways, I transcribe his short will, which contains many very curious and interesting 
particulars, illustrative of the manners and customs of his period. 

" In noie Dei, Amen, in the yere of our Lordc God MCCCCCXVij, the first day of Marche, I Rich- 
arde Umfrey, Clerke, Vicar of the church of All Seyuts of Metynghm, beying in good and hool mynde, 
make my testamente and laste wille undre this fourme followyng. First, I comende my soule to Almyghtie 
God, to our blyssed Ladye, and to the celestyall Courte in Hevyn. And my Bodye to be buryed in the 
chauncell of Metynghm forsad byfor the sepultur and grave of Syr John Arcente, my predecessor. And 
at the daye of my buryeng I will that the maist of the College in Metynghm forsad shall have xx rf . And 
every brodre of the same College, xij rf . And evy yoman servaunte abidyng in the said College shall have 
iiij d , and evy other servaunte and childe of the Almouse ther ij rf . Also I will that cvy other priste that 
shalbe at my buryeng shall have iiij rf . Also I will that at the same daye of my buryeng the Ladye Prio- 
resse of the monastye in Bongey shall have xij rf . And evy other Lady of the same monastye yj rf , and their 
convente priste \uj d , to praye for my soule. Also I bequeath to evy houssolder in the said pysshe of 
Metynghm wheras am man and wiff, viij d . And to evy other p son 'f at the sad daye to praye for my 
soule and all crysten soules. Also I gyff and bequeth to the maist of the forsad College and to his brodren 
all that my Tent called Pyrtewell in Metynghm w l the gardeyn and the cloos to the sad tent belongyng w l 
thapptenents, undre this condicon, that the said maist and his brodren shall hold my anny v sary yerly w' 
placebo and dirige and masse of Requiem for my soule, my fadres and modres soules, for my fryndes 
soules, and all cristen soules. And moreov the sad maist and his brodren shall gyff to thoos p sones that 


shall rynge at Metynghm Church forsaid in the tyme of saying or syngyng of placebo and dirige at the 
said daye of my army v sary oon caste of brede and oon gallon of drynk. Also I gyff and bequeth to the 
Tounesshippe of Metynghm forsaid oon acr of londe lyeng among the londes of the said tounesshippe, 
undre this condison, that the Churchwardeyns of the same pysshe shall gyfTe yerly at the daye of my 
annyTssary to the Vicar of the sad church of Metynghm, or to his Depute ther saying or syngyng placebo 
and dirige for my soule, my fryndes soules, and for all crysten soules, iiij rf . And to offer j rf at Masse. 
Also I will that my cooffeoffes shall dely" or cause to be delyv~ed a state and seisyne of the forsaid tent, 
and all other landes forsade to the p'fourmaunce of this my laste will, when so ev~ ther shall be required 
by my Executors. Also I will have an honest seculer priste to syng and praye for my soule, my fryndes 
soules, and for all crysten soules, by the space of twoo yers and longer yf yt may extende of my Goodes. 
Also I gyff and bequeth to the Cathedrall Church of the hooly Trinite of Norwych, vj s viij d . Also I 
bequeth to the forsaid Church of Metynghm my vestymente of blewe Velvett powdered w* flowres. And 
my chalice for to remayn to the same church as long as ther shall endur. And to the gyldyng of the 
Tabernacle of Seynt Mychacl in the sad church, xx*. Also I gyff and bequeth to the Ladye Prioresse of 
the monastye in Bongay oon Goun w' the hoode. And to Dame Anne Page oon goun w' the hoode and 
\y viij''. Also I bequeth to Mr. Thomas Wylkynes wiff a goun w' the hoode : to Mr. Reeves wiff a Goun 
w' the Hood : to Ilamonde Lynstcdes wife a Goun with the Hood. And to John Rooses wife a Goun w' 
the Hood. Also I bequcth to Rob tc Arwarde my lesser ffedrcbedde with the bolster. The residue of all 
my Goodes w rt my detts not bequethed I gyff and bequeth to the Disposicon and orderyng of Mayster 
Richarde Shelton, Clerk, and Sir Richard Wyburgh, priste, whom I ordeyn and make my Executors of this 
my Testamente and lastwille, thei to distrisbute and dispose them in Dedys of Charite to the most laude 
and praysyiig of Allmyghty God for the welth and pfyte of my soule, my fryndes soules, and for all 
cristen soules. 

" Gevevn the dave and ver above wrvten." 


Vicars. Date. Patrons. 

John Develyn de Bungaye . 1319 Prioress and Convent of Bungay. 

Walter de Thuriston . . 1331 Id. 

Thomas de Wirlingham . 1333 Id. 

John Elmy de South Elmham 1348 Id. 

John Osmund . . . 1349 Id. 

Walter Thruston . . . 1349 Id. 

Nicholas Bury de Brom . 1361 Id. 

William Pepyr . . . 1377 Id. 

John Clampayn . . . 1428 On the collation of the Bishop. 

Robert Burgh . . . 1431 Id. 

Robert Wode . . . 1439 Prioress and Convent of Bungay. 

John Arcente . . . 1443 Id. 

Robert Coseler . . . 14/3 Id. 

Richard Umfrey ... Id. 

Nicholas Nabbes . . . 1517 Id. 

Thomas Bacon 1520 Id. 



Vicars. Date. 

Robert Balman . . . 1539 

William Warde . . . 1554 

Edward Grew . . . 1563 

John Lecke . . , 1570 

George Whitlowe . . 1576 

John Moodye . . . 1587 

Henry Hallam . . . 1591 

Charles Twist . . . 1634 

John Allen. ... 1643 

Samuel Slepper . . . 1663 

Henry Fenton . . . 1681 

John Hacon . . . 1694 

Isaac Colman . . . 1731 

Thomas Baker ... 1 734 

James Safford . . . 1/58 

George Pawson . . . 1805 

George Pawson (second time) 1805 

James Cutting Safford . 1824 


Thomas, Duke of Norfolk. 

Nicholas Bacon, Miles. 

Sir Edmund Bacon, Bart. 

John Hunt, Esq. 
Elizabeth Hunt, widow. 
Tobias Hunt, Esq. 

John Hunt, Esq. 
Kitty Safford, widow. 
Kitty Safford. 
Kitty Safford. 

Appropriattis Priorissse et Conv. de Bungey. Estimatio eccliae xvj marc: estimatio vicaria? ejusdem 
vj marc: ds. Synodalia per annrium ii s . viij rf . Denarij S. Petri, xvj rf . Vicarius solvit.-" J 

Population of Mettingham in 1841, 409. 


THIS district includes nine parishes, and forms a subdivision of the Hundred of 
Wangford, anciently called the liberty, manor, or township of South Elraham. It was 
granted by Sigebert, King of the East Angles, to Felix, the Burgundian, his first bishop, 
who fixed his see at Dunwich in 630. Felix probably resided here, and on that por- 
tion of his estate which has obtained the name of Felix-town, or Flixton. It is a 
deanery within itself. Several churches were founded here in Saxon times, the 
dedication of which to patron saints led to its subsequent division into parishes ; of 
which St. Margaret's became the vine, or principal residence of the township. These 
parishes are, All Saints; Flixton; St. George; Homersfield, or St. Mary, St. James, St. 
Margaret; St. Michael, St. Nicholas, and St. Peter. The demesne is returned in 

29 Norwich Domesday Book. 


Domesday Book as the property of William, Bishop of Thetford ; but several smaller 
manors appear to have then existed within its bounds, and Flixton was held as a 
separate lordship. Archbishop Stigand had also enjoyed very extensive privileges. In 
Domesday it is called Almaham only ; but the addition of South was soon after applied, 
to distinguish it from North Elmham, in Norfolk, which was then, likewise, the property 
of the see. Blomefield, in his History of Norfolk, derives the name of (North) Elmham 
from el menna two British words signifying little water, of which element there was 
certainly no deficiency here. My own opinion though advanced as of little authority 
is, that the whole district was included under the name of Elixton for several centuries 
after its first grant to Felix ; but that that manor having become a separate lordship, 
the other portion of the demesne obtained the name of Almar Ham, or the residence of 
Almar, who was Bishop of East Auglia in Saxon times, and is returned in Domesday 
Book as having held this estate in the reign of Edward the Confessor. 

Herbert, Bishop of Norwich, and founder of its noble cathedral, built a palace at 
South Elmham, which many of his successors occupied. Walter Calthorpe or Suffield, 
who made the ' Norwich Domesday ' by order of Pope Innocent, resided here in great 
splendour. The nature of his establishment at South Elmham may be conjectured from 
his will, wherein he leaves to the King " one cup, one palfry, and his pack of hounds. 
To his brother William he bequeaths all his armour, the fine standing cup, and his 
emerald ring." Roger de Skerning, Bishop of Norwich, died at his manor-house of 
South Elmham on the 22nd of January, 1278. 

The demesne remained with the barony of the see till the reign of Henry VIII., when 
it was seized into the hands of that monarch in exchange for other lands. Jn the 
Cotton Manuscripts 1 is an indenture between this monarch and Edward North, Esq., 
Treasurer of the Com't of Augmentations, dated December the 4th, 1540, whereby the 
King grants, among other lands, in exchange for Haddenham, Codyngton, &c., in the 
county of Bucks, " all that his mancr of Southelmeham, with all and singuler his 
membres, ryghtes, and appurtenaunces in the countie of Suffolk, and the advowsons, 
giftes, and p~ronage, and p~ryshe churches of Sayntt James, Seynte Peter, Sayntt 
Margarette, Sayncte Nycholas, and All Sayntts of Southelmeham, in the said countie of 
Suffolk, and the advowson, gifte, and p~ronage of the p~ishe churche of Humersfield, in 
the s d countie of Suffolk, which manor and advowsons were lately parte and p~~cell of 
the rightes and possessions of the Busshopricke of Norwiche. To hold all the lands, &c., 
thus granted, of the King, by the service of ^ of a knight's fee, and the payment of 
8. 2s. 6%d. for the manor of Southelmham, &c., into the Court of Augmentations, at 
the feast of St. Michael, annually, for ever." 

1 Nero. C. ix. 


In the forty-third of Elizabeth, Roger, Lord North, died seized of the manor of 
South Elmham, with all lands and advowsons pertaining to it in St. James's, St. Peter's, 
St. Margaret's, St. Nicholas's, Homersfield, &c., held of the Queen by military service, 
valued at 70. 7s. IQd. per annum. His grandson, Dudley, Lord North, held this 
estate in 1604. This family descended from Lord North, of Catlidge, in Cambridgeshire, 
and spread itself into several considerable branches, which were seated at Mildenhall, 
Finborough, and Laxfield, and possessed the manor of South Elmham from the thirty- 
second of King Henry VIII., as already shown, till the reign of King James I., when by 
a deed of conveyance from Dudley, Lord North, to Sir John Tasburgh, Knight, dated 
the 20th of May, in the tenth year of that reign, the former conveyed to Sir John 
Tasburgh, in fee, for the consideration of 2500, all the manor of South Ehnliam, with 
the rectories, advowsons, rights of patronage of the several rectories of St. Margaret, 
St. Peter, All Saints, St. Nicholas, St. James, St. George, and llomersfield, with the 
site of the mansion, manor, and all the demesnes, &c. 

Sir John Tasburgh's name occurs among the knights created by James I. at the 
Charter House, on his first arrival in London. He married the only (laughter and 

heiress of Bateman, Gent., by whom he had lands of great value in and near 

Flixton. His estate was valued at 1400 per annum. 2 

The lordship of South Elmham remained with Sir John's descendants till their 
extinction in the male line about a century afterwards ; when it passed by marriage to 
the Wybornes, an ancient family seated at Hawkwell, in Kent. Lettice, the widow of 
John Wyborne, Esq., and daughter of Richard Tasburgh, Esq., died in 1738, aged 73 

Of the Wybornes, this fine estate was purchased by William Adair, Esq., about 
1753, and is now the property of Sir Robert Shafto Adair, who was created a Baronet 
in 1838. He is the son of William Adair, Esq., of Pole House, Devonshire, by the 
daughter of Robert Shafto, Esq., of Benwell, in Northumberland, and was born in 1786. 
He married, in 1810, a daughter of the Rev. James Strode, of Berkhampstead, in 
Hertfordshire. His heir apparent is his son Robert Alexander Shafto Adair, born in 
1811, and married in 1836 to a daughter of the Honourable General Robert Meade. 

In 1561 the township of South Elmham had the following freeholders : St. James, 
9 ; St. Peter, 3, among whom was John Tasburgh, Gent. ; St. Margaret, 4 ; St. 
Nicholas, 5 ; All Saints, 3 ; and " Humbresfelde," 3. 3 

The ancient family of Shelton possessed estates in South Elmham in the thirty-first 
of Henry VIII., as did also the Throgmortons, who afterwards removed to Earsham, in 

2 Harl. MSS. 3 Lansdowne MSS. vol. v. 

VOL. I. 2 A 


The estates belonging jointly to this township have been vested in trustees from an 
early date. The trust requires that the rents and profits shall be applied to the payment 
of the leet-fee, or common fine of the leet of the town of South Elmham; and for 
repairing the highways and other common ways, &c., within the township, where it 
should seem necessary to the trustees, or any three or more of them. The estates 
comprise a messuage, with a barn and outbuildings, and 27 acres of land, in Aldborough 
and Wortwell, in the county of Norfolk; and about 18 acres in the parishes of St. 
Margaret and Flixton ; producing altogether an annual rent of about 60. Four reeves 
are chosen by the trustees, who receive the rents, which are applied, after deducting the 
amount of quit-rent and land-tax, to the payment of the leet-fee of 2 per annum, to 
the lord of the manor of South Elmham, and in repairs of the highways, bridges, and 
footpaths within all the parishes except Homersfield and Flixton : certain portions of 
the rent being applied to each parish, at the discretion of the trustees ; and a portion of 
the rent, which since 1814 has been eleven guineas per annum, is also set apart for the 
poor of the nine parishes, and is distributed among them. 


THIS village is not unfrequently called All-Hallows. It contains including the parish 
of St. Nicholas, consolidated with it on the 8th of December, 1737 1620 acres, 
of which 24 are glebe. The tithes of the united parishes have been commuted for 
368 per annum, and the population of All Saints contained in 1841, 224 souls. The 
parish possesses two cottages and a piece of land, containing one acre and a half, which 
are let by the churchwardens, at rents amounting altogether to 9. 11*. 0>d. per 
annum, which sum is applied towards the reparation of the church, and the payment of 
other disbursements of the churchwardens' office, in accordance with long usage. 

There is an old moated enclosure, which formerly contained the site of a good 
mansion, just south of the church-yard, which, in all probability, was the residence 
of the Throgmortons, a family possessed of considerable property in this village during 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. John Throgmorton, of All Hallows, who died in 
1510, married Jane, daughter and coheiress of Henry Baynard, of Spexhall. His 
shield is still remaining in a north window of the nave in All Saints' Church, with four 
coats: 1st and 4th, Throgmorton gules, a pairle reversed or; 2nd, Baynard or a 
chevron sab.; 3rd, De la Spine sab. a chev. arg., between 3 crescents or. This 


John Throgmorton was the second son of Thomas Throgmorton, of Throgmorton in 
Worcestershire, and left a son, Simon Throgmorton, who settled at Earsham in Norfolk, 
where he died in 1527, and was the ancestor of the Throgmortons of Bungay. 

There is likewise a portion of an ancient house, as old as the time of Elizabeth, 
and still partly enclosed by a moat, which stands abutting upon the north-east side of 
the church-yard, and is now the estate of Sir Robert Shafto Adair. 


of All Saints is a very ancient, rude, and singular structure. It comprises a nave and 
chancel, with a south aisle extending the whole length of the building ; a circular tower, 
with very thick walls, which formerly sustained an octagonal capping, recently removed ; 
and a south porch. The edifice originally consisted of the nave and chancel only, 
and these were lighted by a series of very small windows, pointed and slightly cusped, 
and very much splayed internally. 

The aisle was added about the year 1250, or a little earlier. Here we meet with 
two stilted arches between its eastern end and the chancel. The rood-loft was ascended 
by a steep flight of stairs, rising between two columns of the arches, which sustain 
the body of the church and chancel, and the aperture being now divested of its steps, 
presents a very extraordinary appearance. The interior decorations of this edifice 
offer to our notice an antique Norman font ; and much old wood-work in the nave ; 
the poppy-heads of the seats are finely carved, and in excellent preservation. In 
the south aisle is a piece of carving on the end of an old seat, which deserves a passing 
notice, though it is not so ancient as the scats just mentioned. On the upper part are 
the cross keys of St. Peter, with two pointed swords ; which would lead us to infer that 
it was brought from the adjacent village of St. Peter, when the north aisle or chapel of 
that church was destroyed, or disused. In the centre are the letters I. A., encircled 
by scroll-work; and in the lower compartment appears a large winged serpent 
attacking an armed man ; but as the warrior is evidently terrified, and has turned 
his back on the monster, the sculpture can scarcely be intended to represent the heroic 
encounter of England's far-famed champion, St. George, with the dragon of that 
engrossing legend. 

There are two very large windows in the north wall of the nave, fitted with 
perpendicular tracery, in which are the shield of arms already noticed, and a second 
escutcheon with Tlirogmorton and De la Spine, quarterly. There are also a few 
rosettes of coloured glass. Several ancient gravestones lying on the floor bear matrices 
once filled with brass effigies : the outlines accord with the fashion of the latter part 
of the fifteenth century, and they possibly cover the ashes of the Throgmortons. 



Monuments. Robert Davy, of Ditchingham, died February 5, 1678, aged 65 years. 
Margaret, his wife, daughter of Philip Prime, of Halesworth, died April 22, 1709, aged 
86 years. Five of their children are interred with them. Margaret, aged 14 days. 
Richard, aged 24 years. Elizabeth, aged 25 years. Sarah, aged 24 years. Philip, 
aged 6 years. 

Davy bears, sab. a chevron engrailed erm., between three annulets argent. 

Robert Harvey, of Ditchingham, and afterwards of this parish, died June 12, 1756, 
aged 71 years. Margaret, his wife, died April 23, 1765, in the 77th year of her age. 

In the porch, which deserves notice for the peculiar construction of its west side, 
lies Hannah, relict of the Rev. Mr. Dinsdale, Vicker of Kinoiton, in Notinghamshire, 
who died August the 24th, 1746, aged 73 years. 

The old parish registers are burnt. 


Rectors. Date. 

Adam Chastayn . . . 1312 

Gnlfridus de Mourdonc . 1319 

Richard de Clcye . . 1323 

Joes de "\Vymbotsham . . 1331 

Thomas de Dallyng . . 1331 

Robt. fil: Joes de Brunham . 1333 

Robert de North Elmliam 
Eiias de St. Edimmdo . 
John de Acra 
John dc Shaftehiiry 
Richard Bush, de Iloxne 
Joes Lovell .... 
Joes Ramm, de Gosberchcrch 
William Brigham 
Richard Foukys . 
Jacobus Multre . 
Simon Mayster 
Joes Peny .... 
Henry Williamson 
Joes Gaylcs 
Nicholas \Velden 

Radulphus Grigson . . 1534 

William Bid . . . 1538 

Henry Ringer . . . 1554 

Robert Mauknolls . . 1580 

John Sagar . . . 1593 


The Bishop of Norwich. 




























Charles, Duke of Suffolk. 
Edward, Lord North. 
Assign, of Roger North. 
Assign, of John North. 




Thomas Wood 
Roger Skipper 
Richard Sadler 
Francis Booty 
John Birch 
Samuel Birch 
Thomas Fuller 
Francis Turner 
Thomas Paddon . 
John Holmes 
George Sandby, jun. 

Date. Patrons. 

.... North. 

1661 Will. Lisle, Esq., p. h.v. 

1663 Id. 

1683 Sir William Godbold. 

1705 John Tasburgh, Esq. 

1/06 Bald. Conyers, Esq. 

1737 Dr. Ellys, p. h. v. 

1 743 Grace Britten, widow. 

1790 Alexander Adair, Esq. 

1820 Id. 

1831 Id. 

Estimatur ad xij marc. 1 


FLIXTON is one of the largest of the nine parishes, containing 1761 acres of land, and a 
population, in 1841, of 192 inhabitants. Although it was returned by the Domesday 
Commissioners amongst the property of William, Bishop of Thetford, it seems, in great 
measure, to have been held by other possessors. 

Osketel, a free-man, held a manor here, which belonged to the soke of Archbishop 
Stigand ; and Briht, a bastard, but a free-man, had possessed a manor, formerly the 
property, and included in the soke of Bishop Almar, of which William de Noiers was 
then owner. There was half a church attached to the Bishop's estate, which I conceive 
to mean the patronage of a moiety of the benefice ; for we find the tithes of the church 
at Flixton divided into medieties, as late as the beginning of the fourteenth century; the 
one part belonging to the convent then established here, and the other appertaining to 
the Bishop of the diocese. 

About the year 1200, the principal manor and a moiety of the advowson were in 
the family of De Hanes, who had a mansion on their estate ; and the second manor was 
held by the family of De Bosco or Bois, whose name is yet retained by a small lordship 
in the parish. An humble dwelling called Bois Hall, in all probability, points out the 
site of their once more extensive residence. 

Margery, the daughter and heiress of the former race, married Bartholomew de 
Creke, lord of Creke, in Norfolk, and brought her husband considerable estates ; 

1 Norwich Domesday. 


amongst which were the manors of Helmingham and Flixton. By a pleading at Ipswich, 
held in the twenty-fourth of Henry III. (1239-1240), Robert de Pirho, William de 
Blund, and Robert de Blund, were found to owe to Sir Bartholomew de Creke 14 out 
of these estates, assigned for the maintenance or jointure of his wife. 1 

In 1258, Margery de Creke, being then a widow, and resident at her manor-house 
of Flixton, transferred her interests here into the hands of a community of religious 
females, who appear by her charter to have been already inmates of her mansion. 

" Sciant psentes et futuri quod ego Margeria de Crek in pura et legitima viduatate mea, pro salute 

anime mce, et pro salute animarum bene memorie Galfrid : de Hancs, ptris mei, et matris 

mei, et omnium antecessorum, et pro salute anime Bartholomei de Crek, quondam mariti mei, et animarum 
liberorum meor: successor: et aliartim familiarum mearum, de plcno assensu Robti de Creke, primogeniti 
filij mei et heredis, dedi, concessi, et hac psenti carta confirmavi in purii et perpetua elemosinam mulieribus 
religiosis scrvientibz deo, et See Marie, et Sancte Katharine, et omnibus sanctis in capitali messiiaffio meo 
de Flixton, regulam Beati Augustini p~ fessor : et quasdam alias regulares observantes, &c., totum mane- 
rium meii de Flixton, quod ad me, jure hereditari, spectabat, &c. 

" Hiis testibus Diio Simone de Wanton, Norwicen Epo ; dmnis Willmo de Blume, Rob' de Valoines, 
Will : de Medifbnde, militibus ; Rogero de Throkin, rectore ccclie de Cammibell, Radulpho, rectore 
medietatis ecclie dc Flixton ; Galfro de Crek, Johanno de Crek, frat : suo, Walthero de Redisham, Eudone 
de Tylneye, clico, et aliis." 2 

From this period we see the revenues of Flixton absorbed for near three hundred 
years by a monkish community; which, in conformity with the notions of a mistaken 
creed, and overlooking the obvious sense of Scripture, sought to please God by an 
abandonment of those active and social virtues, in the due performance of which 
lies every Christian's duty. Negative virtue is a low step in the scale of Christian 

To the preceding grant the foundress added her moiety of the advowson of the 
church at Flixton ; the witnesses to which deed of gift were Sir Robert de Valoines, Sir 
Roger de Ratlisden, Sir Walter de Redesham, and Sir John de Stow, Rector of 
Helmingham. The seal of Margery de Creke, appended to this deed, was quarterly, 
1st and 4th, a bend surtout between two roundles ; 2nd and 3rd, three roundles. 
These were, probably, her paternal bearings. The legend was " Sigillum Margerie de 
Crec." In 1264, the foundress gave to her nuns of Flixton the advowson of the church 
of Dunston, in Norfolk, by whom it was appropriated, with the sanction of Simon de 
Walton, Bishop of Norwich, on condition that the nuns should have the whole of the 
rectory, finding a priest to perform the duty, and paying him for so doing. 3 The 
rectory of North Creke was also conveyed to them about the same period, together with 

1 Blomefield. 2 Carta fundat: de Flixton. Lansdowne MSS. 447. 3 Blomefield. 


that of Fundenhall, in the same county, with a messuage, and twelve acres of land, and 
many rents and services.* A water-mill at FHxton, and a mill at Combes the former 
valued, in 1534, at 1. 13s. 4>d., and the latter at 20s. per annum were also annexed 
to this house. In 1280, the patronage of this establishment was granted by the 
foundress to the Bishop of Norwich and his successors. 

In 1292, an inquisition was taken of the temporalities of Flixton, 5 and an extent, or 
survey of the priory lands and possessions, drawn up at the same period. This extent 
will not only furnish us with a view of the condition of the establishment, but will 
illustrate the manners and customs of the times. 


" The number of the nuns of Flixton is limited by the foundress, Margery de Creke, to wit, eighteen, 
and a prioress every one of whom has been accustomed to receive, per nnnum, for garments, 5 shillings : 
for whose sustentation the said foundress gave the manor of Flixton, with the advowson of the moiety of 
the same church : the profits whereof are worth, per annum, in gardens, orchards, pools, and other 
profits, 40 s . Item, woods and alders, in divers places, worth, per annum, 30 s . Item, there are 308 acres 
of arable land, which are worth, per annum, 11. 12. 4. price, per acre, S d . Item, there are 38 acres of 
meadow for mowing, and they are worth, per annum, 3. 16. 0. price, per acre, 2 s . Item, there are 
3 small pastures in divers places, which are worth, per annum, 7. 11. 0. of rent of assize. Item, 
the said customary tenants owe, per annum, 225 days ploughing, which are worth 3. 16. 3. price, 
per day's ploughing, 3 d . Item, the same customary tenants work, in winter and summer, 658 works, 
which are worth, per annum, 1. 12. 8. price of each work a half-penny. Item, the same in autumn, 
603 works, which are worth, per annum, 2. 10. 3. price, per work, a penny. Item, the same 
customary tenants owe, per annum, 65 averages, which are worth 2 s . 8^ rf . per average, a half-penny. 
Item, pleas and perquisites of the tenants are worth, per annum, 13 s . 4<*. Item, two mills are worth, per 
annum, deducting the expenses, 13*. 4 d . Item, the moiety of the church of Flixton, remaining to the 
proper uses of the said prioress and convent, is fixed at 4. 13. 4. Item, the church of Dunstone to 
their proper uses, is taxed at 5 . 

"Amount of the whole Extent, 43. 18. 2." 

The endowment of this priory seems to have been always inadequate to the 
maintenance and necessary wants of its inmates ; and although the foundress limited 
their number to eighteen nuns, and a prioress, it never reached that number, and at the 
Dissolution appears to have contained not more than six or seven nuns. It was this 
consideration which induced John Salmon, Bishop of Norwich, to permit the appro- 
priation of the second moiety of Flixton church ; the patronage of which the convent 
had obtained in exchange for that of Helmingham. In 1321, an inquisition was taken 
in the church of Flixton, relating to a presentation of a Vicar to that moiety of the 
benefice which belonged to Flixton Priory; and in the same year, a charter was granted 

4 Blomefield. 5 Jermyn MSS. 


by the bishop to the prioress and convent, for uniting the other moiety of the church to 
that before possessed by them, and appointing a portion to the Vicar. 


" Brother John, by divine permission, bishop of Norwich, to his beloved daughters in Christ, the 
prioress of the conventual church of the blessed Katharine of Flixton, in South Elmham, and the convent 
of the same place, of the order of St. Augustine, in our diocese, greeting ; grace and benediction. Amidst 
all the cares incumbent on our pastoral office, and to which we are specially bound, that surely should be 
chief, to assist the urgent necessities of those under our care, weighing their merits in the scale of our 
Holy Father ; and particularly to assist religious women, who by their sanctity of religion, holiness of 
life, and devout works of charity, are rendered acceptable to God, and most welcome to mankind. 

" And whereas, you having discarded your own appetites, and left all worldly pleasures, and having 
chosen to yourselves a celestial bridegroom, with whom, in the utmost devotion, to dwell under regular 
observance : and whereas, it is notorious that for long time past, and as yet, by unfortunate and adverse 
circumstances, you have been, and are now reduced to such poverty, as not to have wherewithal to supply 
yourselves and servants with meat and drink, the necessaries of life ; and to support the charges 
incumbent upon you ; and especially, ns it is well known, that all which you have at present, or can have, 
is incompetent for you to exhibit to the wants of the poor, and strangers, continually resorting to vour 
house ; considering, moreover, the great burden of debt now pressing upon you, and particularly as your 
lands and possessions are, by unfortunate events, become so barren, that the fruits and profits thereof, 
supporting these necessary charges, will scarcely suffice for half the year ; nor have you anv means of 
supporting and relieving these burdens out of your temporal possessions, by purchasing in mortmain : 
We, therefore, on account of the premises, directing to you our paternal affection of piety, and being 
willing, for the sake of the religion which you laudably exercise and profess, with devout veneration, 
graciously to assist your wants by ecclesiastical provision and collation of a benefice, viz. : the moiety of 
the church of Flixton, in Southelmham, in our diocese, now vacant, in which you have obtained the right 
of presentation ; which moiety, with all its rights and appurtenances whatsoever, to the other moiety of 
the church aforesaid, to you and your monastery, of old time canonically appropriated, on account of the 
smallness of each moiety we do unite, and by tenor of these presents do re-unite, and so united decree it 
perpetually to be, and upon you and your monastery, to your proper uses, through motives of charity, do 
confer by these presents, and by pontifical authority, depute and grant it to be perpetually possessed. 
And because the portion to you of clothes, of old time deputed, yearly to be received, is very mean and 
slender, we will and ordain, that the several nuns of your house shall receive every year from the hands 
of your chamberlain, out of the fruits and profits of the church aforesaid, two shillings in silver, in 
addition to the portion above-said; that so your indigence, as to this matter, may be more easily 
consulted. Reserving to ourselves especial power, out of the rents and profits of the same church, so 
renewed and united, to depute a reasonable portion to the perpetual vicar serving in the same ; to the 
vicarage thereof, whensoever vacant, by you and your successors, to us and our successors, canonically 
to be presented ; and on which portion he may be able, properly, to support himself, as the law reqviire ; 
and support episcopal and other charges incumbent on him : saving in all things the episcopal customs, 
and rights and dignity of our church of Norwich. And that all matter of altercation and dispute as to 
the portions of tithes, and the lands and fruits, and profits of the church aforesaid, to be received between 
you and the vicar of the church aforesaid, for the time being, hereafter may rest quiet, we have thought 
fit thereupon thus to ordain. 

" Imprimis we will, and by decree do ordain, that you and your successors shall receive and have in 


the name of the rectory of the church aforesaid, the manse, which the rector of the church aforesaid 
named, on the part of the bishop, was accustomed to inhabit, situated on the west part of the said church, 
with the croft to the same adjoining. And also the meadows assigned to the same moiety, to wit, at 
Caldewell, half an acre, and in east meadow, one acre, and one rood, and at Fretheg, one rood and a half, 
lying in three pieces. And all tithes of sheaves, arising from all kinds of blade within the limits or tithings 
of the said parish : the tithes of blade, growing in the gardens of the said parish, only excepted. And that 
the vicar of the same church and his successors, in the right and name of the vicarage aforesaid, may, 
and shall have a manse of the north part of the same church, formerly assigned to the vicarage of the 
moiety of the same church, named on the part of the nuns. And also tithes, as well personal as mixed, 
oblations, and small tithes of the whole parish, to wit, wool, milk, flax, and hemp, lambs, pigs, eggs, 
fowls, hens, pigeons, ducks, cygnets, fruits, trees and gardens, as well sown as planted, by whatsoever 
term they may be understood ; and if corn be there sown ; mills, fisheries, groves and woods, turbary, 
and also all other obventions of what kind soever, which are contained under the name of Altarage. The 
said vicar shall also receive all tithes, as well personal as mixed, of all those whose habitations or dwellings 
arc within the limits of the said parish, situated without the inclosures of the monastery ; although the 
said inhabitants personally serve in any office or function within the aforesaid inclosures. And also all 
demesne lands, to each moiety of the church deputed of old time, wheresoever they lie or consist, the said 
croft alone excepted, whose fruits and profits, they shall freely receive without any payment of tithes 
whatsoever. The said vicars shall have, also, two acres of meadow, one whereof lies in Stock-meadow, 
and the other at Milling. And also the tithes of hay of the whole parish, except the tithe of hay arising 
from your meadows, which at. the time of this present ordination you have obtained in demesne. But if 
you, or your successors hereafter, acquire any meadows lying within the said parish from any person 
whatsoever, by any kind of gift, for them you shall pay the tithes to the vicar and his successors 
abovesaid. You shall receive, also, all obventions or oblations in your conventual church, as well from 
foreigners and strangers, as from your servants and ministers, whensoever made ; and if the persons so 
administering are parishioners of the church aforesaid ; saving, nevertheless to the vicar parochial right, 
in ordinary and customary oblations, as from his parishioners by right to be received. You and your 
successors, from the payment of tithes of your own animals whatsoever, within the limits of the said 
parish feeding and couchant, we will to be free and quit ; but for the animals of all the parishioners and 
strangers in your houses and folds, the vicar shall receive the tithe wholly, as is lawful. And the 
ordinary charges on the said church incumbent on you and your successors, to wit, as to the repairs of 
the covering of the chancel, and glass windows of the same, shall support whenever repairs are necessary, 
or require building anew. The vicar also, for the time being, shall pay procurations, and synodals, and 
shall bear, and be at the expense of repairs of books, vestments, and other ornaments of the church 
whatsoever. And as to all extraordinary charges on the aforesaid church incumbent, w^e will you should 
undergo, and to this be bound : saving to us and to our successors, free power of adding to, and 
withdrawing from, the premises, and also reconsidering them whensoever urgent necessity or utility 
requiring it, seem proper. In witness and testimony whereof to these p~ sents, we have thought fit to 
put our seal. Done and dated in our manor of Blofield, the 7th Kalends of November, in the year of our 
Lord 132], and of our consecration the 22nd." 

From the preceding charter it appears, that by the endowment the priory was 
obliged to keep the chancel belonging to Flixton church in repair ; but on account of 
the slender provision above mentioned, made for the maintenance of its inmates at first, 
and the great distress they afterwards experienced from the plague, they were so far 

VOL. I. 2 B 


reduced as to be unable, we apprehend, to prevent the chancel from falling into 

ruins. 6 

In the same year, 1321, John, Bishop of Norwich, issued his mandate to Nicholas 
de Rudham, ordering him to put the prioress and convent in possession of the moiety 
granted them by the said Bishop. This order from the diocesan is accompanied by a 
deed of the said Nicholas de Rudham, witnessing the execution of the said mandate. 

Although Margery de Creke was the real foundress of the priory of Flixton, its 
success such as it was appears to have been promoted through the advice and 
assistance of William Bateman, who was consecrated Bishop of Norwich in 1343. 
This prelate drew up the statutes by which the house was afterwards governed. His 
roll, containing the rules of this nunnery, commences thus : " A le honeur de Deu, Pere, 
e Fit/, e Seynt Esprit, Sire William, par la susfraunce de Deu, eveske de Norewic, 
patrun de la meson de Dames de Flixtune, de cloun de la noble dame, Dame Margerie 
de Crek," &c. Bishop Bateman resided much at his adjacent palace of St. Margaret 
South Elmliam, to which place he was much attached. He purchased considerable 
property in the neighbourhood, and seems to have been partial to Flixton. 7 Sir 
Bartholomew Bateman, his brother, lived in this village, and " was buryed in thys abbey 
of Flixston." Sir Bartholomew Bateman, the Bishop's father, also resided and was 
buried here." The seat in which he lived stood on the site whereon the present Flixton 
Hall is built; and possibly the monastery, which tradition says occupied this place, 
might have been a chapel, or a portion of Sir Bartholomew's very ancient residence. 9 

In 1347, Bishop Bateman extended his patronage of the nuns of Flixton by the 
pernicious and unjust practice of further appropriation; and in that year procured 
license for these recluses to apply to themselves the tithes of Fundenhall, of which 
rectory they were patrons. The Bishop reserved an annual pension of two marks to 
himself and his successors, in lieu of first fruits, and 2s. per annum to the sacrist, as to 
the high altar of the cathedral. The prioress was to nominate and find a stipendiary 
chaplain, to be approved by the Bishop, and pay him for serving the cure. 10 

The spirituals of the prioress of Flixton in this parish were taxed at fifteen marks, 
and were to pay 20s. to each tenth; but in 1347, the nuns being returned to be very 
poor, they were excused the tax. 11 

The poverty of the nuns of Flixton was still more strikingly developed in the 
following year, when the plague raged so fearfully in many parts of the kingdom. This 

6 Jermyn MSS. 7 Id. 8 Id. 9 Id. 

10 Pat. Rot. Ed. III. an. 22, p. 1, m. 17. Pro priorissa de Flixton, de ecclesia de Fundenhall in Norf. 

11 Blomcfield. 


dreadful pestilence began to appear first in the northern part of Asia, in 1346, whence 
it passed into Greece, and thence into Italy and France; and in the beginning of 
August, 1348, broke out in Dorsetshire. The disease was so violent in England, that 
many persons, who were well in the morning, died before noon. About the beginning 
of November it reached London, and about Christmas attacked Yarmouth, in Norfolk, 
where, in 1349, it raged with such malignant fury as to carry off, in one year, above 
seven thousand persons. It raged so furiously in the years 1348 and 1349, that there 
scarcely remained alive, in most parts of the kingdom, a tenth part of the population. 
We may judge to what extent the calamity affected the priory of Flixton, from the 
following instance. The church of Dunston, in Norfolk, was part of the endowment of 
this establishment, but in 1349, when the general plague had depopulated great part of 
the realm, it was returned, that most of the parishioners here were dead, and the land 
left untilled, so that the prioress could not pay the King's taxes for it, nor the 10*. 
per annum to the Bishop, then usually paid. 12 

In 1370, the revenues of the priory were augmented by the grant of the manor of 
Fakons, and lands in Stuston, Brome, &c. ; notwithstanding which increase of rental 
the affairs of the priory continued to decline. Walter le Hart, Bishop of Norwich, 
who died at Hoxne in 1472, being informed of the impoverished state of the nuns, gave 
by will, to the prioress of Flixton 20s., and to every nun in that house 3s. ^d 
considerable legacies at that period. 13 

There is an exemplification, dated in 1412, whereby Alexander, Bishop of Norwich, 
confirms the foregoing endowment of the vicarage of Flixton. The original deeds 
relating to Flixton Priory, from which great part of the preceding information has been 
translated, were purchased by Mr. Astle at Martin's sale, and were bound up in one 
volume. Mr. Astle offered them to the late Mr. Adair at the same price he had given 
for them, which Mr. Adair declined, observing that he had sufficient deeds to secure 
the title of his estate. 14 

There were annual gifts made to the poor by this priory, on the anniversary of the 
foundress, which amounted to 2. 16s. &d. ; and 5. 6s. Sd. were given to the priests 
for performing service on the same day. The arms of Flixton Nunnery, as shown 
on the following page, were painted on the rood-loft of Fundenhall church, and were 
also placed in a like position in the parish church of Flixton. Blomefield is wrong 
in blazoning the field gules. 

12 Blomefield. Jermyn MSS., &c. 13 Jermyn MSS. 14 Id. 



1259 Alianora 

1801 Emma lie Bcholin. 

Margery Ac Stonham. 
1345 Isabella de Weltham. 

1373 .Margery Howell. 

1392 Catharine Howard. 

Elizabeth Moore. 
1414 Catharine Pilley. 

1432 Maud Pitcher. 

Marioue Ualingho. 
1440 Cecilia Creke. 


14(i(i Margery Artis. 

1503 Isabella. 

1520 Alice Wright. 

1532 Elizabeth Wright. 

Elizabeth .Moore resigned her office ; as did her successor, Catharine Pilley, in 1432, 
being old and blind. In consideration of her having governed the house well and 
laudably, the Bishop, as patron of the nunnery, assigned her a chamber, and a maid to 
wait upon her, and an honourable pension for life, out of the appropriation of the 
rectory of Fimdenhall. 15 

After a struggle for near three hundred years with poverty and adverse circumstances, 
this establishment was surrendered by Elizabeth Wright in 1528; having been sup- 
pressed, as one of the smaller monasteries, by the bull of Clement VII. Its revenues at 
that time amounted, according to Speed, to 23. 4s. \\d., which shows a decrease of 
nearly one-half of its rental from its valuation in 1292 ; notwithstanding its subsequent 

15 Blomefield. 


acquisition of several estates. Its possessions were destined by Cardinal Wolsey to 
augment the rentals of his colleges at Ipswich and Oxford. That ecclesiastic's disgrace, 
however, prevented the accomplishment of this design, and brought the lands of Flixton 
Priory, with the rest of his prodigious wealth, into his master's hands, who by writ of 
Privy Seal, dated at Westminster, the 10th of July, in the twenty-ninth year of his reign, 
leased to Richard Warton the site of the late monastery of Flixton, with its houses, 
barns, dove-cots, orchards, lands, &c. ; the rectory of Flixton, with the advowson of the 
vicarage, &c., for 19. 16s. 2d. per annum. The premises were granted, however, in 
1544, to John Tasburgh, Esq., and passing subsequently with the manor of South 
Elmham, as already related, are now the property of Sir Robert Shafto Adair, Bart., of 
Flixton Hall. 

John Eyre had the manor of Facons, in Stuston, in the same year. 

The site of the priory, which occupies an elevated piece of ground, about a quarter 
of a mile to the south of the church, is clearly defined by a moat of unusual width, 
which encompasses an ancient and respectable farm-house, and a portion of the south 
wall of the conventual chapel, in which is a solitary flattened arch, devoid of tracery. 
The width of the chapel was about twenty-four feet. Fuller quaintly tells us that 
" Cardinall Wolsey, by leave from the Pope, suppressed certain small houses of little 
value, therewithall to endow his colledgcs in Oxford and Ipswich. He first shewed 
religious places were mortall, which hitherto had nourished in a seeming eternity. 
And King Henry the 8th concluded, if the Cardinall might eat up the lean convents, 
he himself might feed on the fat ones, without danger of a sacrilegious surfeit." 

The Tasburghs, who thus acquired the site and possessions of Flixton Priory, were 
of direct Saxon origin. Torolf, a free-man of Bishop Stigand, held a manor in the parish 
of Tasburgh, in Norfolk, at the time of the Conqueror's survey, 16 whose successors were 
Richard and Matthew, his sons; and Ralf, who lived in 1199, and afterwards, about 
1239, assumed the name of Tasburgh, from the place of his residence. In 1247, 
Ralf de Tasburgh was lord of Boylands, or the woodland manor, in Tasburgh, and had 
infangetheof, or liberty to try all theft committed by his tenants, in his own court- 
baron and leet there; and to execute them, and take their forfeited goods. In 1280, 
his son Roger sold this estate to Sir Richard de Boyland. About this time they 
migrated to Suffolk, and we find them settled at St. Peter's, South Elmham, early in 
the reign of Edward III. The following pedigree 17 shows their descent from this 
period to the time of Charles II. 

16 Domesday Book. 17 Harl. MSS. luCO. 



Thomas Tashorough, : 
of St. Peter's, South Elmham, 
temp. Ed. III. 

, . . . d r . and heir 1 , 
of ... Toll. 

John Tasburgh. = 

d r . of 

.. Neaches. 

Thomas Tasburgh. .... d r . of Richard Pulvertofte, 

co. Line. 

John Taslmrgh, = Olive, d r . of John Everard, 
obt. 1473. of Cratfield, in Suffolk. 

Alice, d r . and heir*, 
of .... Dibncy, 
of Garboldisham. 

=^ John Tasburgh, = 
of St. Peter's, 
obt. 1509. 

= Eliz. d r . of John Davy, Edward Tasbnrgh, = Rose, d r . of 
of Norwich, and widow of St. Andrew George Harman. 
of .... Tracey. Ilketshall. 

Olive, married, 1st, 
G. Bateman, of 
Flixton ; 2nd, 
Henn - Elmv, of 

Susan = 
Rich' 1 . Allington, 
of Westley, 
co. Cambridge. 

John Tasburgh, 
of Flixton Abbey. 

1 1 
= Eliz. d r . of Owen William 
John Tracey, Tasburgh. Tasburgh. 
of Norwich, 
obt. 1583. 

1 1 
Sir John == Lettice, A', of Anne = 
Tasburgh, James Cressye. Tasburgh. 
of Flixton 

= Sir Robert Frances Thomas Maude ^= Rob'. Cammock, 
Ashtield, Tasburgh. Bateman. Tasburgh. of Layer Marney, 
of Suffolk, Essex. 

Charles. Cressye. Peregrine. John. Francis. 


Jane. Cath e . Penelope. Dorothy. 


Elizabeth. Lettice. Mary. 

The escutcheon attached to the above genealogy is of four coats : first and fourth, 
Tasburgh; second, Toll, arg., two bars engrailed gules; each charged with 3 birds or: 
on a canton sable a hand, bend-wise, couped at the wrist argent. Third, Neaches, 
party per fess, paly of seven arg. and sable, counterchanged. 

Edward Tasburgh, of St. Andrew Ilketshall, had issue three children, Edward, 
Elizabeth, and Anne ; and John Tasburgh, of St. Peter's, had, by his second wife, 
Sir Thomas Tasburgh, Knt., who married, first, Anne, daughter and heiress of 
Sir John Baldwin, Knt., and widow of Sir Thomas Paginton, who died without issue ; 
and secondly, Jane, daughter of William West, Lord De la Warr, and widow of 
James Cressye; by whom also he had no family. In 1599, John Tasburgh, Esq., 
furnished two horsemen to be conducted to London for defence of the court against 
secret purposes intended. John Tasburgh, the fourth son of Sir John Tasburgh, 


of Flixton, by Lettice Cressye, married Penelope, daughter and coheiress of John 
Ramsey, Esq., of Wickmere, in Norfolk, and brought him the manor of Wickmere, in 
that parish. Dorothy, his sister, married Sir William Thexton, Knt., and died in 1641. 
Charles Tasburgh, the eldest son and* heir of Sir John, died in 1657, and left Richard 
Tasburgh, his son and heir, who married Margaret, daughter of Sir George Heneage, of 
Henton, Knt. This lady, who is described as very charitable to the poor, a loving 
wife, and an indulgent parent, was a participator of her husband's imprisonment, who, 
being a rigid Roman Catholic, was implicated in the pretended Popish Plot, which 
broke out in 1678. She died in 1705, aged 70, and the following record of her 
constancy and sufferings was placed on her monument in Flixton church by her grateful 
husband, who survived her eleven years; dying in 1716, at the advanced age of S3 
years. " She was a patient sufferer in prison with her husband, during y e persecution 
called y e popish plott, of which he was accused, and tryed for his life, but by a jury of 
worthy gentlemen out of Suffolk, had justice done him, for which he beggeth y e blessing 
of Heaven on them and their posterity, and heartily forgiveth his enemies and per- 
secutors." Mr. Tasburgh left several children, but they failing of issue, the family be- 
came extinct in the male line, and its estates passed to John Wybarne, or Waborne, 
of Hawkwell, in Kent, in right of Lettice his wife, the daughter of the aforesaid 
Richard Tasburgh, who survived her husband, and died on the 1st of July, 1738, 
aged 73. 

The Tasburghs were rigid Roman Catholics, and the estate at Flixton is still 
charged with the payment of a certain stipend, settled thereon at the time of its transfer 
to the Adairs, for the support of a Roman Catholic priest, who constantly resided in a 
house in this parish, called the priest's house, till within a very few years, when a 
chapel was built at Bungay, and the residence of the priest transferred thither. 

In consequence of then- adherence to the Romish Creed, the family fell under 
great suspicion at the time of the calamitous foe in Bungay, in 1688, when, tradition 
relates, pieces of Rue were laid, on the previous evening, at the doors of several houses. 
The Tasburghs, however, were foremost in affording relief to the panic-struck inhabitants 
of the town. 18 

18 Since the notice of this event was printed in the Account of Bungay, page 126, I have received 
the following information respecting the school-house there. 

"November 18th, 1845. 
"My dear Sir, In repairing the front of my house, last week, I discovered a stone or slate with the 

following inscription : 

Exurgit leetum tumulo subtriste cadaver, 

Sic schola nostra redit clarior usta rogo. 


This clearly shows what I have before heard, the school was built with materials collected from the fire, 
March 1st, 1688. F. BARKWAY." 


It is probable that the Tasburghs resided some time after their acquisition of this 
property in the priory at Flixton, as we find several of the family designated, in the 
foregoing pedigree, as of Flixton Abbey. Early, however, in the seventeenth century, 
they removed to the spot occupied by the present Hall, which is a noble baronial- 
looking pile, seated in the centre of an extensive park, where the " builder oak " 
luxuriates in majesty and profusion. It was erected about the year 1616, by Sir 
John Tasburgh, and the design is said to have been furnished by Inigo Jones ; but 
tliis, I believe, is tradition only. Many mansions, in almost every part of England, 
have been attributed to his skill, with scarcely a proof of any kind, and not a few 
which arc decidedly too common-place for the fertility of his conception. Flixton Hall, 
however, by whomsoever designed, is the production of no tame or frigid genius : 
there is a lofty elevation, an intricacy and variety of outline, aided by deep bays and 
bold projections, which, with the tall pinnacles and clustered chimneys, give a 
picturesque effect to the whole pile, vainly sought for in modern mansions. It was 
originally surrounded by a moat, and approached by a drawbridge, which have been 
long removed and filled up ; and is said to occupy the site of the very ancient 
manor-house of the Batemans, as already mentioned. If any papers, relating to the 
erection of this mansion, be in existence, they would furnish curious and interesting 
details of the price of labour and materials in the seventeenth century. Tradition has 
preserved an anecdote connected with this house, that when Charles II., in his journey 
to Yarmouth, passed by this building, he was so struck with its grand and noble 
appearance, that he inquired who resided in it ; and upon being told, by one of his 
attendants, that it was a popish dog who lived there, his Majesty immediately answered, 
that the dog had a very beautiful kennel. 

The view, which illustrates this description of Flixton Hall, represents the northern 
and principal front, as it appeared in 1844. The whole fabric is now undergoing 
an extensive survey, which the wear and tear of time have rendered imperative. Some 
alterations are being made in the facade, by removing the old pediments which sur- 
mounted the windows, and by the substitution of new window-frames. It may be a 
matter of doubt which the writer will not venture to determine how far any ancient 
fabric, possessed of decided character, is improved by the alteration of any of its features ; 
but he must be pardoned in saying that the addition of a large wing, just erected, 
looks raw and incongruous, and destroys the dignified repose and unity of design, 
hitherto so remarkable here. 

Though the immediate ancestors of Sir Robert Shafto Adair, the present possessor 
of Flixton, were settled in Ireland, the family is of Scottish descent, and the earliest 
ascertained progenitor of the line fell at the battle of Flodden Field. 

Alexander Adair, Esq., who died in 1834, at the advanced age of 91 years, 
married Lydia, daughter of Sir William Thomas, Bart., of Yapton Place, by whom 



he left no issue. He was the nephew of William Adair, Esq., the purchaser of 
the Flixton estate, and manor of South Elmham ; and great grandson of Sir Robert 
Adair, of Ballymenagh, who died in 1745. The following pedigree of this family was 
extracted from the Records of Ulster, King of Arms of all Ireland, on the 1st of July, 
1838, and transferred to the Heralds' College, London. 


Ninian Adair, of Kinhilt, in the shire 
of Wigton, in Scotland, died before 1608. I 


William Adair, of Kinhilt, served heir to his father in his Catherine Kirchart, 
Scottish Estates. April 5, 1608, settled at Ballynucloss, in 
the county of Antrim, and was made a denizen of 
Ireland, 1624. Died Nov. 4, 1626. 


Sir Robert Adair, of Ballymenagh, in the county of Antrim, Kiit., 
made a deni/,en of Ireland with his father, lfi'2-i, served heir to his 
father and grandfather in the Scottish Estates, Feb. 19. 1(129, as 
an Esquire, and atrain, in 1643, as Knt. Had Hverv of his Irish 
Estates, Dec. '2, ifas : made his will Feb. 15, lfl55, in which he 
left 10 acres of glebe to the Minister of llallynienagh for ever. 
Died March 1, 1655. 

- Jane, <l r . of Archibald 
Edmonstone, of 
Duntreath, in the 
shire of Stirling, in 

William Adair, vounger 
son, made a denizen uf 
Ireland with his father 
and brother, 1624. 

Marian, wife ot 
William Honston, 
of Killester, in 




I | 



William Adair, of Anna Helena, . 



Archibald Adair, of Litter, 


Robert Isabella, 



Ballymenagh, Esq., 

dr. of . . Scott, 

of Braid Is 

land, in the 

in the Queen's County, Esq., 


Adair, wife of 

wife of 



eldest son and heir: 

of ... married 

county of A 

ntrim, Esq., 

2nd son, died intestate. 

3rd son. 

1th son. Robert 

Rev. . . 



of full age at his 

about 1658. 

2nd husband. Died 1690. 

Admin, granted to his son 



A . . 

lather's death, 1655, 

Will dated 

William, September 9, 

of Logan, 

of. . 

but unmarried. 

March 14, 


in the nhire 

Died Nov. 30, 1661. 


of Wigton. 


Penelope, d r . of 
Sir Robert Colville, 
of Newtown, in the 
county of Antrim, 
1st wife. 

- Martha, d r . 

: Sir Robert Adair, of Ballymenagh, 
in the county of Antrim, Knt., born 
Feb. 1659, only son and heir of 
William, raised a regiment of foot, 
and a troop of horee, for King Wm. 1 1 1., 
who knighted him on the field. 
Died at lodgings in College Green, 
near Dublin, Feb. 1/45, set. 86, 

Anne, d r . of - 

dated Oct. 22, 
3rd wife. 

- Arabella, dr. of William Adair, Mary, dr. ui 
.... Richetts, of Litter, Esq. Thomas 
married . . 17-20. Will dated L'Estranct-. 
Died Oct. 1742. April 15, 1/12, of Moyntown, 
4th wife. in the King'* 
County, Esq. 

Died 1705, 
buried in St. 
Bride's church, 
August 12, 
2nd wife. 

William Robert Adair, of Ballymena 
Esq., Captain in General Honeywoo 
Dragoons. Died April 19, 1762. 

S, = 

= Catherine, dr. of ... Smallman 
of Ludlow, in Shropshire. 
Died April I, 1752. 

, Anna Helena Adair, died young, Alexander Adair. 
buried at St. Bride's church, baptized Sept. 4, 
Dublin, May 15, 1701. 1720. 

Robert Adair, of Ballymenagh, Esq. Anne, d'. of Alexander Me Canley, of Dublin, Esq., 
Died at Clifton .... Jan. 1798. Barrister at Law, married March 25, 1753. 

Died at Kensington, in Middlesex. 

Rev. William Adair, of Portsmouth, 
Hants, Clerk, Executor to his 
father's will. 

William Adair, of Flixton Hall, in Suffolk, = Camilla, d'. and heir", of Robert Shafto, 
and of Ballymenagh, also of Pole House, 
in Devonshire, Esq. Born Feb. 9, 1754. 
Living 1838. 



of Benwell, in Northumberland, Esq. 
Married Dec. 17, 1784. Died Nov. 18, 1/87. 

Robert Adair, of Acton, = Eliza, dr. of ... Payne, 

in Middlesex, Esq. of London, Merchant. 

Born 1/60. Died at Acton. 

Robert Shafto Adair, of Flixton Hall, Bart. .... d'. of the Rev. James Strode, 
Living 1846. of Berkhampstead, Herts. 

Robert Alexander Shafto Adair, 
born 1811. 

. dr. of the Hon. Gen. 
Robert Meade. 

Hugh Adair. 

VOL. I. 




at Flixton comprises a square tower, a nave with a north aisle, and a ruinated chancel. 
The tower is, by far, the most ancient portion of the edifice, being unquestionably 
of Anglo-Saxon construction. It is built entirely of uncut flints, laid in rude 
horizontal courses, and is at present entered from the body of the church, through an 
arch, enlarged in its eastern wall about the time of Henry III., if we may judge 
by the fashion of the pillars which sustain it. The original entrance was beneath 
a low triangular - headed arch on the western side; which has been recently dis- 
covered by the removal of a coat of plaster from its interior face. " On each side 
of the lower part of the tower is a circular aperture, equally splayed inside and 
out. A stage higher, we have on the west, a circular-headed window, splayed at 
the sill, but not in the jambs or arch. In the next stage, on each side, is a circular- 
headed window, deeply splayed within, so as to leave but a small narrow aperture 
in the external face of the wall. The jambs of these windows are very far from 
the vertical, inclining towards the arch, and being wider at the bottom. On each side 
of the belfry is a balustre window. The balustre is a cylinder of equal thickness 
throughout, and is surmounted by the ordinary Norman cushion capital. The arches 
and jambs of the windows are made up of rag and flint, and here and there a large 
smooth pebble. The outside face of the arch, with the part of the soffit adjoining, is 
coated with rough-cast." 

The tower leans fearfully towards the south-west, in consequence of the subsidence 
of its foundations. At what period this took place is unrecorded, but it evidently 
occurred subsequently to the thirteenth century, as the pillars of the arch in its 
western wall, constructed about that period, are thrust out of the perpendicular by 
the declination of the tower. The ascent to the bell stage is by means of a very 
steep and rude ladder, of curious construction. The north aisle is divided from the 



body of the church by four pointed arches sustained by pillars, each of which is 
composed of four clustered columns, in the style prevalent in our third Henry's reign. 
We may conclude, therefore, that the old Saxon church, attached to the tower, 
was demolished about that era, and the present fabric constructed on its site. 

There are several appendages of ancient worship, still remaining in this church, 
which deserve notice. A pew in the aisle is formed by wide panels of oak, in which 
are a few very small quatrefoil apertures. Tradition relates that this seat is constructed 
out of the old confessional. Beneath the communion table, lies the ancient altar-stone, 
of black marble, marked with five small crosses, emblematical of the five wounds 
of Christ. This must have been removed from the now ruinated chancel before the 
Reformation ; and seems to confirm the opinion, previously advanced, that this portion 
of the edifice fell into decay through the poverty of the nuns of Plixton Priory. 

The old iron cradle for sustaining the hour-glass, by which the preacher in earlier 
days regulated the length of his discourse, remains near the handsome pulpit, which is 
elaborately carved with armorial devices ; while the bold and elegant poppies, or carved 
finials of the benches, are worthy of especial attention. More beautiful specimens 
of the carved wood- work with which our ancient churches were furnished in the 
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, are rarely found. They consist of an assemblage 
of graceful foliage, of various patterns, but one near the south wall is of rather 
unusual design, and represents a cross-aisled church. 

In the year 1268, Henry de Bosco granted a free-man to the church of St. Mary 
at Flixton, and to Rauulph, the rector, he likewise granted a moiety of the said 


church. 19 In 1485, Thomas Bateman, by his will,_dated on the 8th day of April, 
" legat corpus suum sepeliend: et humat: in ecclia bte Marie de Flyxton, prope 
Elizabeth: imp: uxem suam." 

Robert Gilbert, vicar of Flixton in 1639, was ejected by the puritans. Walker 
says, " he could get no fifths, as I find by an original petition of his wife, now before 
me, though he had several children to maintain. He lived to be restored." 20 

In Cole's MSS. in the British Museum, 21 is the following curious memorandum 
connected with this parish. "In December, 1768, the Rev. Dr. Gooch, Canon 
of Ely, and Commissary of Sudbury, gave me the following paper, which was put into 
liis hands, a little before, as a curiosity, but which may be resolved in this way. 
The registers of parishes being at first very faulty, and negligently kept, it was 
necessary, and very usual, towards the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and later, 
to have them transcribed into a new book, which was always signed by the then 
ivctor, as certifying the truth of the copy. ' An extract from the register book of the 
parish of Flixton, in the county of Suffolk, relating to the Rev. Mr. Jonas Luker, 
minister there. The register begins in the year of our Lord 1547, and was begun 
by the said Mr. Laker, who might have been minister before that time. His death 
is registered the 2nd of May, 1639, which makes him ninety-two years vicar there; 
supposing him to begin with the register book only ; and as he could not have been 
younger than twenty -four, when he came to Flixton, must, therefore, be at least, 
one hundred and sixteen years old when he died. 

Years of Years of 

our Lord. age. 

His birth must be dated, according to the above supposition . . 1523 

Came to Flixton, supposing at the time this register book began . 1547 24 

Married to Anne Beaumont, 25th of January . . . . . 1612 89 

First child, Richard Luker, baptized May 9th .... 1615 92 

Second child, Richard Luker, baptized Feb. 8th . . . . 1618 95 

Third child, Mary Luker, baptized Dec. 7th 1621 98 

Fourth child, Anna, baptized October 18th 1624 101 

Fifth child, Hum. Luker, baptized Nov. 20th .... 1627 104 

The said Jonas Luker was buried May 2nd ..... 1 639 116 

His widow was buried November llth, 1672, which was thirty -three years after 
her said husband.' N. B. This register is all wrote by himself, and his last entering, 
which was dated 1634, and only five years before his death, is well and clearly wrote. 
He was one of the first protestant ministers, and during the reign of Queen Mary, 
nothing was registered. The two churchwardens that signed the book with him, the 
first year he came to Flixton, were likewise churchwardens together in the same parish 
forty years after." 

19 MSS. Astle. 20 Walker's 'Sufferings of the Clergy,' Part n. p. 256. 21 No. 5806. 


Cole's surmise that Mr. Luker had merely transcribed the greater portion of his 
parish register book is proved correct by the list of institutions preserved in the Record 
Office of the Bishop of Norwich, by which it appears that Luker, or Lakers, was not 
presented to the vicarage of Flixton till the year 1590, and that dying in 1639, he 
was incumbent only forty-nine years. 

Monuments. Sir Win. Thexton, Knt., dyed 8th of Oct., 1649 : and Dame Dorothy 
Thexton, his wife, dyed y c 18th of Sept., 1641. Thexton .... a fret . . . impales 

Charles Tasburgh, Esq., died llth of Aug., 1657, aged 49. Richardus Tasburgh, 
films Caroli, et pater Johannis, ob. 1716, act. 83. Penelope, wife of Mr. John Tasburgh, 
and daughter of Mr. John Ramsey, of Wickemere, in Norf., died 1696. George 
Tasburgh, died Dec. 1736, aged 64. Anne, his second wife, daughter of Josiah 
Lightfoot, of Ashley, in Staffordshire, died Oct. 11, 1749, aged 71. Tasburgh impales 
Lightfoot, a chev. between 3 roses. Margaret, the wife of Richd. Tasburgh, and 
daughter of Sir George Henneage, of Henton, Knt., died Oct. y e 3rd, 1705, set. 70. 
Within the altar rails lies a cushion-shaped stone of white marble. On its upper side 
are engraved a cross with the letters I II S, and a heart, pierced with three nails, 
encircled by a nimbus, or glory. It is raised about a foot from the floor ; is about 
three feet long, and eighteen inches wide. It is said to cover a human heart dis- 
covered here ; but as it is inserted into a slab of black marble, at the head of which 
are cut the arms of Tasburgh impaling those of Nevill, of Holt gules, a saltire 
ermine while, at the lower part, is an inscription to the memory of John Tasburgh, 
who died Aug. 12, 1719, in the 57th year of his age, and who married Frances, 
daughter of Mr. Nevill, of Holt, in Leicestershire, by whom he had three children, it 
is more probably a memorial placed to one of these children, who died young. Lettice, 
relict of John Wybame, Esq., of Hawkwell in Kent, and daughter of Richard Tasburgh, 
Esq., died 1st July, 1738, aged 73. John Wybarne, died Feb. 12, 1739, set. 52. 
Lydia, wife of Alexander Adair, Esq., and daughter of Sir William Thomas, Bart., 
died Oct. 8, 1814, aged 66. Alexander Adair, Esq., died March 17th, 1834, aged 91. 
William Adair, Esq., of Flixton Hall, died May 17, 1783, set. 83. 

Adair impales Thomas : arg. 3 lioncels ramp, gules, and a chief azure. 


Vicars. Date. Patrons. 

Thomas de Persore (ante) . . . 1266 

Thomas of Evesham (rec: mediet:) . 1301 The Bishop. 

Thomas Baldwin (vie: mediet:) . . 1316 Prioress and Convent of Flixton. 

Sequest : vie : mediet : vacantis commissa 

Henrico le Fenn .... 1321 



Thomas Baldwin (in mediet: eccl: pro pte 

Epi.) . 
Thomas Baldwin (in vie: de Flixton noviter 

appropriat:) ..... 

Richard le Portere de Stutton . 

Semannus Baroun . 

Pctrus le Mareschal 

Henry Sylvestre 

Galf: de Wymedale de Worlingham . 

Had": fil: Rog: Carlcf . 

Thomas Praty 

Peter Taliour . 

Henry de Scrowteby 

John Hogan, de Prilleston 

.John Cooke, de Redenliall 

Will: Frost, de Long Stratton . 

John lliugher 

Benj : Pytle .... 

John Dal ton .... 

Peter Goodie ... 

Robert Ilaggar 

William Hudson ..... 

Thomas Underwood .... 

John Peny ...... 

Thomas Johnson ..... 

Richard Lisson ..... 

Edward Elsley ..... 

Peter Bates ...... 

Thomas Daynes ..... 

Jonas Lakers 

Robert Gilbert 

John Wythe 

John Pytle 

Henry Woolmer ..... 

William Nuthall 

Thomas Gunby ..... 

William Adair ..... 

John Jebb ...... 

David Hawkeswell Potts .... 

John Holmes ...... 

Henry Wilson ..... 

George Saudby, jun 

Dat. Patrons. 

1321 Prioress and Convent. 














































Bishop, by lapse. 


John Tasburgh, Esq. 






University of Cambridge. 


Samuel Game. 


Edward Merry. 




Matthew Britten, Gent. 


"Wm. Adair, Esq. 






Alexander Adair, Esq. 




William Adair, Esq. 

Domesday. Portio rectoris de Flixton x marc. 


The Rev. George Sandby, the present incumbent of Flixton, is the grandson of Dr. 
Sandby, formerly master of Magdalen College, Oxford, and Chancellor of Norwich. 
In Brydges's ' Restituta ' 22 is a long account of the latter gentleman, who is described 
as " beneficed and married in Suffolk, and formerly fellow of Merton College, and son 
to a prebendary of Worcester: took his D.D. degree at the Commencement, 1760, and 
is a very cheerful agreeable man. His mother, a Nottinghamshire woman, very ancient, 
died at his living at Denton, in Norfolk, in 1770. In 1769 he was made Chancellor of 
Norwich, and has four children, three daughters, and a little boy," &c. 

The vicarial tithes of Flixton have been commuted for 145. 3s. Gel., and there are 
30 acres of glebe. 


called also Saint Cross from the armorial cognizance of that saint, and Sandcroft 
from the sandy nature of the soil where the church is situated, is a rectory consolidated 
with Homersfield in 1767; and containing 1300 acres, 2 roods, and 7 perches of land, 
with a population of 258 souls, as returned in 1841. It formed part of the revenues 
of the see of Norwich till the reign of Henry VIII. , though the family of Bateman 
possessed great interests in it, and presented to the church for several generations. 
They seem to have acquired the manor early in the fifteenth century, but it must have 
been held of the bishops of Norwich, because it was included in the property obtained 
by the Lord North, soon after the Dissolution. This is evident from an inquisitio post 
mortem, taken at Bungay on the 31st of October, 1555, when Thomas Bateman, Esq., 
was found to die on the 4th of June, in the year preceding, seized of the manors of 
Sandcroft and Newhall, &c., in South Elmham, with two messuages ; and lands, valued 
at 20, held of Edward North. Thomas Bateman, his ancestor, had held the same 
manors; for by his will, dated on the 8th day of April, anno Domini 1485, he desires 
that Robert, his eldest son and heir, should have the manors called Newhall and Sand- 
croft, with all his lands ; and the advowson of the church of St. George de Sandcroft, to 
be held by the said Robert, and his heirs male ; and in default of issue, remainder to 
William Bateman, his son, and his heirs, with remainder to Richard, his son, and his 
heirs, &c. He desires a tomb of freestone to be placed over his remains, with those of 
Elizabeth, his wife, in Flixton church. 

From the family of North, as before shown, the manor was transferred to the 

22 Vol. iii. p. 245, et scq. 


Tasburghs. By an inquisitio post mortem, taken the 30th of May, in the 5th of 
Charles I., John Tasburgh, Knight, was found to die, on the 24th of April, in 
the same year, seized of the manor of South Elmham, Boyses, Sandcroft, Newhall, 
Flixton, &C. 1 

The manors, therefore, of Sandcroft, Newhall, Boyses, Flixton, &c., appear to have 
grown out of the greater or paramount manor of South Elmham at a very early period ; 
for though Almaham, or Elmham, is returned in Domesday as the lordship of the 
Bishop of Thetford, it is even then said " alii ibi tenent." Blomefield, the historian of 
Norfolk, asserts that the ancestors of Archbishop Sandcroft, of Fressingfield, derived 
their name from this village, though Dr. D'Oylcy, in his history of that primate, does 
not notice this circumstance. But the fact that Robert de Sandcroft was patron of this 
church in the year 1319, goes far to confirm Blomefield's position. The parish of 
Sandcroft, or St. George, passed from the Tasburghs to the Adairs, and forms part of 
the Flixton estate. The remains of a very ancient church, called the " Minster," are 
situated in this village, though they are generally considered as lying in St. Margaret's. 
The site of this ruin, which is distant about a quarter of a mile from the old palace of 
the Bishops of Norwich, is encompassed by a moat, evidently once broad and deep, 
though it could never have retained water, as it is dug on a considerable slope. The 
area occupies about three acres. The ground-plan of the "minster" exhibits a nave 
about 7~2 feet in length by 27 feet in width, to which is attached a chancel 24 feet in 
length, terminating in a semicircular apse. The width of the chancel is about two feet 
less than that of the nave. The entire chancel can be traced distinctly, though its 
foundations rise little above the level of the soil ; but the nave presents more 
decided features, as the walls spring in every part to a height of nearly twenty feet. 
Narrow fractured apertures indicate the original position of the windows, which were 
small, few in number, and placed, with jealous precaution, very high in the Avails. The 
only entrance to the body of the church was at its western front, where a rugged 
opening presents itself. The masonry of the whole structure, which stands due east 
and west, is of rubble-stones strongly united by coarse mortar, and laid in horizontal 

But the most remarkable feature in the edifice, and one which unquestionably 
refers it to a period of very remote antiquity, is a partition-wall, crossing the nave from 
north to south, at the distance of 27 feet from the western wall ; thus dividing, by two 
narrow arches, and a thick intermedial and square pier, this portion of the church 
into two unequal divisions ; forming the interior into a tripartite division, or a sanctum 
sanctorum, chancel, and nave. Neither buttresses nor the slightest protuberance 

1 Cole's Esch. i. 324. 


are apparent in the surface of the walls, nor has the strictest search developed the 
smallest fragment of a dressed stone in any part of the walls or ruined site. 

Mr. George Durrant, the present occupant of South Elmham Hall, informs rne, that 
he caused the whole interior to be dug over, five feet deep, about four years since, 
but discovered nothing besides a few bones, and a small piece of old iron, with one or 
two ancient keys. It then appeared that the foundations of the walls are full five feet 
thick at the base, rising with two sets-off to the surface of the soil. Such is the 
" minster," which I confess myself visionary enough to ascribe, from its ecclesiastical 
locality, its rude architecture, and its Saxon appellation of the " Minster," to the piety 
of Felix, to whom the estate was first given in 630 ; or to one of his immediate 
successors. It could not have formed the chapel to Bishop Herbert's palace, built 
after the see was removed to Norwich, because the adjoining site is entirely free 
from any foundations but those of the "minster" itself; while the frequent discovery 
by the plough, of urns filled with burnt bones and ashes, seems to confirm the voice of 
a tradition very current in the village, that the " minster " occupies the site of a pagan 
temple. Nor is there any absurdity in supposing that a spot dedicated to Wodin 
or to Thor was purposely selected, in early days, for the situation of a Christian 
church; for among the prudential admonitions of Pope Gregory to his missionary 
Augustine, he especially advises him, as we learn from Venerable Bede, " not to destroy 
the heathen temples of the English ; but only to remove the images of their gods to 
wash the walls with holy water to erect altars, and deposit relics in them ; and so to 
convert them into Christian churches ; not only to save the expense of building new 
ones, but that the people might be more easily prevailed on to frequent those places of 
worship to which they had been accustomed." How long the "minster" has been 
disused as a place of worship is unknown ; but it must have been desecrated for a very 
considerable period, as a large oak tree grows from the foundations of the south wall, 
which from its size and appearance of maturity must be, at least, three hundred 
years old. 


was constructed about a century posterior to the Norman Conquest, though it retains 
few of its original features. It now consists of a good square tower, in which hang 
five bells, with a nave and chancel only ; though the presence of a series of clerestory 
windows, over a range of lower and more ample lights, seems to indicate that the fabric, 
at some distant period, possessed a north and south aisle. The interior is very lofty 
and elegant, and although every architectural member is plain and simple, yet the neat 
and creditable condition of the fittings, and the fine proportions of the church and 
VOL. i. 2 D 


chancel, produce a very agreeable effect. The windows contained much stained glass a 
few years since, and amidst a rich display of architectural designs were the following 
arms : Ufford, Norwich, Willington, Bateman ; and sable 3 mitres arg. impaling 
Ardington ; and gules a chev. between 3 cross-crosslets fitchee, arg. ; also, per pale, 
arg. and sab., a bend counterchanged. Argentin, gul. 3 covered cups arg., also 
quarterly, arg. and gules ; in the first quarter an eagle displayed sable. There was 
likewise the following legend : 

pour ofw 

A small piscina is still open in the chancel, and over the communion table is placed 
a painting representing the raising of Lazarus from the grave. The roof of the church 
was raised at the expense of various contributors, whose arms were emblazoned on the 
corbels of either side; amidst which, those of Bateman were twice repeated. The 
authenticity, however, of these memorials of piety is completely destroyed by recent 
painting ; and the pencil of some ignorant mechanic has rendered the series a jumble of 
heraldic errors. The fine old coat of Bateman sable, 3 crescents ermine within a 
bordure engrailed argent, is coloured thus : argent 3 crescents within a bordure en- 
grailed sable. The cups in Argentin's shield are yellow : thus destroying the affinity 
between the bearing and the name. Little dependence, therefore, can be placed on the 
other cognizances, among which, however, are seen the bearings of Adair, correctly 
represented. The arms of Bateman are also cut on the octangular font, which is 
removed from its original position. 

Monuments. Dorcas Downinge, filia Gulielmi Bloyse, arm: uxor Georgii Downinge, 
Gen: ob: 2. Sep: 1638. s&t. 46. 

There is a record to William Smith, A.M., formerly fellow of St. John's College, 
Cambridge, Rector of this parish, and reader in the chapel at Harleston, who died in 
1767. He assisted Sir Thomas Hanmer in his edition of Shakspeare, and Dr. Grey, 
also, in his notes on Butler's Hudibras ; and in these works gave evident proofs, both 
of his literary attainments and his great humour and pleasantry. He left three sons, 
all clergymen, namely, the Rev. William Smith, of St. John's College, afterwards 
Rector of Bedford ; the Rev. Charles Smith, Rector of Weeting, in Norfolk ; and the 
Rev. John Smith, Rector of Mattishall, in the same county : the two latter were of 
Caius College, Cambridge. He also left a daughter, named Frances, who married 
Mr. Cave, of Bedford, and left issue one son. 3 John Jebb, M.D., F.R.S., who was 
instituted Rector of Sandcroft and Homersfield in 1770, resigned these preferments 
from religious scruples. He was previously fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, 

2 Jermj-n MSS. 3 Idem. 



and died in Parliament Street, Westminster, March 2nd, 1786. The indefatigable 
collector Cole says in his manuscripts, " Mr. Jebb, a professed Arian, was the great and 
busy agitator at Cambridge of the petition to Parliament to throw aside all subscriptions, 
1772 : him, the master of St. John's, Dr. Wm. Samuel Powell, opposed in all his wild 
schemes of reformation ; and when he found his mischief at Cambridge was so ably 
counteracted, he reluctantly left the place, where he had done more harm by his lectures 
and activity than one can conceive ; and flung off his gown, and publicly avowed his 
unbelief of the divinity of our Saviour. He now studies physick in London." 4 

Walker 5 mentions " William Evans, Rector of Sandcroft, deprived for neglecting 
the Parliament fasts ; not preaching in the afternoons : prosecuting his parishioners for 
gadding (to factious lecturers, no question) from their own parish church : reading his 
Majesty's declarations ; and for saying they were cursed, who gave a lent to the 
Parliament : nor was it possible, to be sure, that such an one could be other than 
a notorious drunkard." 

The tithes of St. George have been commuted for 197. 10s., and there are 
25 acres, 1 rood, 7 perches of glebe land. The registers commence in 1558. This 
rectory was consolidated with Homersfield on the 19th of June, 1707. 


Rectors. Date. 

William de Himlrichishull . 1319 
Petrus le Munk 

Robert de Ebor . . . 1329 

Oliv: fil: Jois Humfrey . . 1329 

Joes de Longa Stratton . . 1347 

Joes Penne, de Letton . . 1389 

Joes Gates, de Swanton Abbots . 1414 

Thomas Pittohe de Wicklewood 1424 

William Brixy . . . 1429 

Joes Cowper .... 1430 

William Merveyn 

Robert Gerard . . . 1439 

William Freeman 

Joes Dyke .... 1485 

Robert Burdall . . . 1505 

Jacobus Billingford ... 1520 

Robert de Sandcroft. 



Emericus de Wellyngham, Miles. 

Will: Middleton de Mendham, et Tho: de 


Robert Bateman de Flixton, jure hered: pat. 

Thomas Bateman, Esq. 
Robert Bateman, Esq. 
Thomas Bateman, Esq. 

4 Cole's MSS. 

'Sufferings of the Clergy,' Part n., p. 238. 



Rectors. Date. 
Robert Thompson . 

William Offrey . . . 1554 

Robert Thompson, (restored) . 1561 
George Grayme 

John Lytherland . . . 1576 

James Levitt . . . . 1585 

John Archer . . . . 1616 

William Evans . . . 1639 

Thomas Pye . . . . 1661 

Thomas Le Grys ... 1693 

William Smith ... 1/22 

William Adair ... 1/67 

JohnJebb . . 1770 

Samuel Baker . . . . 177C 

David Hawkswell Potts . . 1787 

William Clarke ... 1789 

Courtenay Boyle Bruce . . 1832 

Thomas Bateman, Esq. 

George Bateman, Esq. 

Thomas Bateman, Esq. 

Sir John Tasburgh. 

Henry Rich, Earl of Holland. 

Richard Tasburgh, Esq. 

Mary Le Grys, p. h. v. 

W T illiam Smith, p. h. v. 

William Adair, Esq. 


William Adair, Esq. 

Alexander Adair, Esq. 



Estimatur ad xv marc. 



THE name of this village, as written in Domesday Book, is Humbresfelda ; which 
signifies the land of Humbre : whence it would appear that some Danish rover, sailing 
up the broad channel of the Waveney, had seized on this bold promontory, and 
established himself in the demesne of the Saxon bishop, by compromise or the strong 
arm. In either case, he has left his name to posterity, as an evidence of his oc- 

At the time of the Norman Survey, this village comprised two manors ; two 
endowed churches, a mill, and the hamlet of Linburna the modern Limburne. 
William, Bishop of Thetford, held a manor, which Bishop Almar had possessed in 
Saxon days, in which was a church, endowed with twelve acres of glebe, and the mill. 
The bishop claimed the soc and the sac of Stigand's tenants, and also of the lands 
of Linibunie, belonging to Bury Abbey, for which he had the testimony of the Hundred 


Court; and he was in possession of a grant, of the time of Edward the Confessor, 
whereby he was entitled to the exercise of sac and soc over the lands of St. Edmund 
and his tenants. In Saxon times, the woods on this manor were large enough to 
fatten six hundred swine, but they had been so reduced as to maintain only two 
hundred when the Survey was made. 

A free-man of Bishop Almar still retained a manor with a church and thirty acres 
of glebe land, then valued at Qs. and 4</. The Saxon owners of this estate seem 
to have been undisturbed in their possessions here, for it is further recorded that 
twenty-three free-men still held 80 acres of land, which formerly had been worth 
40s., but were now valued at only 30s. This manor was one leuca in length, and half 
a leuca in breadth, and paid 2Qd. land-tax. 

Saint Edmund, that is, Bury Abbey, held thirty acres of land in Linburn, with five 
bordars, or labourers, two acres of meadow, and the fifth part of a mill : the whole was 
worth 10s., but it is expressly stated that the Bishop of Thetford had the soc and sac. 1 

The manor and advowson of Homersfield remained with the bishops of the diocese 
till the reign of Henry VIII., when they passed to the Norths, as parcel of the 
manor, &c., of South Elmham, and now belong to Sir Robert Shafto Adair, Bart. 

In the collections of the late Thomas Martin was a confirmation of six acres and 
a half of land in Homersfield to Robert de Sandcroft, ancestor to Archbishop Sandcroft, 
which Robert Husbond, tenant or servant to John of Oxford, Bishop of Norwich, 
gave him ; and of three acres and a half, which Gervaise, son to Robert Husbond, sold 
to the aforesaid Robert de Sandcroft for 4s., and released and abjured it in the bishop's 
own chamber at Homersfield; to be held by the rent of 16V. a year to the bishop's 
manor of Homersfield, and Qd. to every aid, or tax, laid on that town. 

In the reign of Henry III., the Bishop of Norwich obtained a license for a market 
and fair to be held at Homersfield. 2 The former is obsolete, but there is still a small 
annual fair, held in May. 

Walter de Suffield, Bishop of Norwich, gave the third part of the tithe of his 
demesne in Homersfield to the Norman's Spital, or St. Paul's Hospital, in Norwich. 3 

Linburna, or Limburne, which signifies a contributary stream, appears to have been 
alienated by the Abbot of Bury soon after the Norman Survey was completed ; for 
Roger Bigot confirmed to the nuns of Bungay "his lands of Limburne" in 1160; 
though the Abbot always retained an interest in it, and at the dissolution of Bungay 
Nunnery, when the rental of the manor of Limburne was 3. 13s. 3|-e?., had an annual 
payment of one shilling. The site of this manor was held in farm, before the dis- 

1 Domesday Book. Terra Epi de Tetfort. Sci Edmundi. 

2 Claus: 11 Hen. III., m. 3, pro feria et mercat: apud Humersfeld pro Epis. Norwic. 3 Blomefield. 


solution, by Robert Middleton, Gent., of Middleton Hall, in Mendham. Being parcel of 
the possessions of Bungay Priory, it was included in the grant of that establishment to 
Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, by Henry VIII. In the seventh of Edward VI., it was held 
by John and Thomas Wright ; but in the seventh of Elizabeth was again in the Norfolk 
family, when the rental amounted to 4. 10*. Id. In 1564, or the following year, 
Richard Wheatley, Rector of this parish, died seized of this manor; and about 1567, 
James, son of Edward Berdewell, of Mendham, as heir male of his family, released 
it to Bassingbourn Gawdy, Esq.; and in 1569, Sir Bassingbourn Gawdy, Knt., of 
Middleton Hall in Mendham, died seized of it. In the thirty-seventh of Queen 
Elizabeth's reign, Bassingbourn Gawdy, Esq., and Dorothy, his second wife, daughter 
of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Knight, are described as Lord and Lady. In 1696, John 
Rayner, Gent., held his first court; and in 1709, James Whiting, of Homersfield, was 
lord. It was soon after purchased by Alexander Adair, Esq. ; and Sir Robert Shafto 
Adair is the present lord, in whom all the manorial tenures are merged. Kirby says, 
" there are but few or no tenants belonging to this manor, and it would scarce be 
known, if it W 7 ere not for the water-mill, which still retains the name of Limber Mill." 
This mill was sold some years since to Aldous Arnold, of Lowestoft, Esq., and is at 
present the property of the Rev. Richard Aldous Arnold, Rector of Ellough. 

The manor of Wadker's in Wymondliam, in Norfolk, extended into Homersfield, 
and was held by the family of Hare. 4 This ancient race sprung originally from a 
branch of the illustrious family of Harcourt of Lorrain, in France, and came into 
England with William the Conqueror. 5 The armorial cognizance of this family was 
gules, two bars or : to which an augmentation of a chief indented of the second was 
given to Sir John Hare, who married Ann, daughter of Eustace Crew, Baron of Montalt. 
Hugh Hare, of Homersfield, 6 was living in the first of Henry the Seventh's reign, and 
was succeeded by Nicholas Hare, of Homersfield, Esq., who had issue, by Margaret his 
wife, two sons, John, and Thomas, who was a Doctor of Civil Laws and Chancellor 
of Norwich. 

A branch of the Bateman family had an estate in Homersfield in the 17th century, 
which they held for some generations, till they moved to Mendham. There is a bridge 
in this parish over the river Waveney, which was built in 1763 by William Adair, 
Esq., who was the lord of the manor of South Elmham, and had a right of toll on 
passing and repassing this bridge, and which right exists at this day. 7 It appears from 
records that the lands of this village, which are of a light and gravelly nature, were 
tormerly field lands, marked with meres and doles, laying open as a common field, and 

Blomefield. s Id. Jermyn MSS. 7 MSS. Norman. 


in a variety of ownerships. 8 The place, some centuries ago, contained so many ale- 
houses as to give rise to the following distich, which is now, happily, inappropriate. 

" Denton in the dale, and Arbro' in the dirt, 
And if you go to Homersfield, your purse will get the squirt." 9 

Homersfield contains 981 acres of land; of which nine only are glebe, though eight 
hundred years since there were forty-two. 10 At the time of the last census the 
population amounted to 291 souls; eighteen persons being included in this number 
who were then dwelling in tents and the open air. 


at Homersfield is an ancient structure, very picturesquely situated on a bold knoll of 
land, encompassed on the west and north by the meanders of the Waveney. The spot 
is so admirably adapted to the ancient plans of fortification, that had not the manor 
been the property of the church at the time of the Conquest, it would, undoubtedly, 
have been selected as the site of a castle by some of the Norman barons, among whom 
our soil was parcelled out. The lands of the great ecclesiastics and the abbeys were, 
however, uninvaded by the Conqueror, a measure resulting from policy, I apprehend, 
rather than from religious motives. The fabric, which comprises a small nave and 
chancel, with a square tower containing three bells, is in a very dilapidated state. 
The walls, however, appear firm and sound, except in one place where the ivy has been 
permitted to penetrate, and a judicious architect might effect much here, at a com- 
paratively small expense. Our ancient churches should never, but in extreme cases, be 
removed to make way for modern erections. Their walls arc time-hallowed, and they 
are dear to us from the associations connected with them. 

Passing through a very elegant little chancel door, we enter the interior of this 
edifice, which, though neatly kept, is very indifferently furnished. There is a Norman 
font, resting on five pillars, and one or two very ancient windows. Humble as this 
fabric is, it was once adorned with stained glass : the legend 

rate p aTabs SSofti Droll, rt <8lnal)ttl): ronsortis &m 

has disappeared, but the figure of a bishop remains in the upper part of the east 
window, in a sitting posture, having his mitre on his head, his pastoral staff in his left 
hand, and his right hand elevated as in the act of pronouncing the benedicite : the 

8 MSS. Norman. 9 Fuller's ' County Proverbs.' 10 Domesday. 



colours are much faded. In the south wall of the chancel is an elegant double piscina, 
of early English character. 

Monuments. On the floor is a grave-stone with the arras of Bateman, sab. 3 
crescents eriu. within a bordure engrailed argent, thus inscribed. Barnabas Bateman, 
Gent., died 25 March, 1055. 

John Bateman, Gent., died 1049, aged 06. 

Thomas Le Grys, Rector of this parish and Sandcroft, died June 10th, 1722, aged 58. 

There is an old stone in the nave with an illegible inscription and these arms 

3 greyhounds' heads erased .... collared with a crescent for difference, impaling 

per pale and 3 eagles displayed 

The rectory of Homcrsfield was consolidated with Sandcroft on the 19th of June, 
1707. The date of the oldest register is 1558. The tithes have been commuted 
for 143. 



Robert do Haustede . 
Richard de Notyngham 
William de Lopham 
William de Rammesholt . 
John Newman 
John Salyng, alias Algar . 
John Hanwille 
Walter Wardeboys . 
Nicholas Abel . 
William Hebbe 

Date. Patrons. 

1311 The Bishop, pleno jure. 

1320 Id. 

1329 Id. 

1350 Id. 

1391 Id. 

1394 Id. 

1394 Id. 

1395 Id. 
1399 Id. 
1405 Id. 




Thomas Kensale 
Thomas Foxton 
William Wode 
Thomas Waytelove . 
John Lingeford 
Thomas Eppes 
Edward Sperhawk . 
Adam Kede .... 
Richard Faukys 

Oliver Warner, alias Wetherale . 
Andrew Smith 
William Sutton 
Roger Mundes 

John Yate .... 
William Overey 

Henry Carter .... 
Richard Wheatley 
Robert Downes 
Edward Ellesley 
James Levytt . . . 
Thomas Dorington . 
Valentine Dey .... 
Christopher Spendlove 
Thomas Pye .... 
Thomas Le Grys 
William Smith 

Estimatur ad viij marc. 

Robert Downes, M.A., instituted Rector of this parish, in 1565, was installed 
fourth Prebend of Norwich Cathedral, February the 8th, 1576. 

Charities. Two acres and a half of copyhold land, held of the manor of South 
Elmham, were left by Sir Nicholas Hare for charitable purposes. They are held by 
trustees, and produce about 50*. per annum, which are distributed among widows and 
other poor persons at Christmas time. 




The Bishop, pleno jure. 
























No patron mentioned. 
Edward North, Esq. 


The Bishop, by lapse. 
Roger, Lord North. 


John North, Esq. 


Assig. of Lord North. 


Wm. Lisle, Esq. 
Mary le Grys, p. h. v. 
William Smith, p. h. v. 


As a member of the lordship of South Elmham, the manorial history of this parish 
has been already detailed. It lies at the south-west angle of the demesne, and comprises 
VOL. i. 2 E 


1301 acres of land, of which nine are glebe. The tithes have been commuted for a 
rent-charge of 384. 10*.; and the population in 1841 amounted to 289. 

There is a small estate in this parish, containing about 15 acres, and let for an 
annual rent of 20, given by Catharine Skarffe, widow of Andrew Skarffe, formerly of 
St. James's, who by her last will and testament, bearing date December 21st, 1479, 
gave all her messuage, tenement, and lands belonging, for certain pious and charitable 
uses, and for repairing the parish church, &c., vested in the hands of feoffees for the 
fulfilling the intent and uses of her will ; but as part of the uses were abolished with 
the change of religion in this realm, by an inquisition taken of all charitable and other 
donations, in the reign of James I., it was settled and decreed that the rents and profits 
arising from the premises should be applied towards the reparation of the parish church, 
and the overplus expended in aid of the parish rates. There were also 10 given by 
William Grudgfield, Gent., to be vested in the churchwarden's hands for the time being, 
for him to render 1 Qs. per annum, as interest ; to be given away yearly, at the discretion 
of the churchwarden, to the poor of the said parish for ever. 1 

The farm in this parish called St. James's Park was anciently a paled enclosure, with 
a mansion in the centre, and was, most probably, emparked by royal license. It was 
formerly the property of Robert Palmer, Esq., from whom it passed to Wolfran 
Lewis, Esq. 2 It now belongs to his son, the Rev. John Lewis, Rector of Gillingham, in 


is a spacious edifice, lofty and well proportioned, though it has not altogether escaped 
neglect and inappropriate reparations. It comprises a nave, opening by a fine arch into 
a square tower, in which hang four bells ; a chancel, and a south aisle ; the east end of 
which was formerly appropriated as a chapel, and dedicated to St. John. Andrew 
Taylor, who died Rector of this parish in 1474, and whose will was proved on the 9th 
of January, 1475, desires his body to be buried in this church, before the altar of 
St. John Baptist; "coram alt: S. Jois Bapt:" 3 Three octangular pillars, with plain 
moulded capitals, support the like number of arches, and to the west of these is a fourth 
arch, of like character, but of greater height and span. There are the remains of three 
sedilia, but the piscina is closed, and the canopies of all have been destroyed. 

Considerable care and expense must have been bestowed on this fabric in olden 
times, as is apparent in every part of it. The chancel door is of very fine workmanship, 
and the stone employed of superior quality. Though full six hundred years old, the 
edges of the mouldings remain sharp and uncorroded. The north door of the nave 

1 MSS. Norman. 2 Id. 3 Will Book, Norwich. 



requires also a particular notice. It is pointed, but the architraves are wrought with the 
Norman billet moulding. Fragments of stained glass in the windows attest the presence 
of this enrichment in earlier days, when almost all our parish churches were beautified 
with its tinted, solemn gloom. 

The west end of the aisle formed the ancient vestry, and is enclosed by a screen of 
oak of early English character, which, though simply cut in boards, produces considerable 
effect. Like every thing in the interior of our churches, it is covered with a wash of 
lime. At the foot of the western arcade stands a large and very ancient font of Norman 
construction, sustaining a canopy of oak, richly carved, but of much interior date. Like 
the old screen, it is incrusted with whitewash, while the font itself is coloured yellow 
a barbarism the more to be regretted as it is carved out of Purbeck marble, a stone 
which bears the highest polish. 


Tombs. On the floor of the nave lies a small brass plate, about five inches long 
and two wide, bearing the following laconic inscription : 

eunftrtie JffrepII &quper 

There are two brass effigies, of ordinary character, lying in the nave, about a 
foot long. 

Hannah Greene, widow of John Greene, and daughter of William Aldrich, of 
Riunburgh, Gent., buried 6 May, 1712, set. 65. John Greene, Gent., died 4 March, 
1688, set. 67. Thomas Greene died x day of May, 1615 : he married Agnes Warde, 
;ind had 3 sons and 3 daughters. 

On a brass plate is the following record : 

Here lyethe buried the body of William Grudgfield, who had to wife Elizabeth 
Battely. He deceased y e 2 of June, anno 1601, which Willia~~ gave x pounde to be 
payed by his executors to y e church-wardens w th in 2 yeeres after his decease, for y e 
bvinge of 5 milsh kync to be let out to y e use of the poore of this parish for ever. 

In the church-yard, against the west end of the aisle, is a tomb to the memory of 
(jcorge Norman Cracknell, who lost his life while bathing in the river Orwell, llth of 
Aug., 1S34, aged 16 years. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Robert de Stratton . . 1334 The Bishop. 

Joes de Hoo . . . 1335 Id. 

Roger de Stow . . 1337 Id. 

Joes Waynflet . . 1337 Id. 

Robert de Foston . . 1345 Id. 

Simon Gyzoun de Linford 1349 Id. 

Joes de Wynston . . 1349 Id. 

Thomas Walton . . 1349 Id. 

William Sillecok . . 1357 Id. 
Robert Day 

Joes Spendlove . . 13/0 Id. 

Joes Bredford . . . 1390 Id. 

Richard Elyngton . . 1394 Id. 

Joes de Norton . . 1397 Id. 
Henry Yokflete 

Robert Somerby . . 1402 Id. 
Thomas Audemer 

Joes Covyn . . . 1414 Id. 

Henry Edward . . 1419 Id. 




Thomas Eobyn 
Andrew Taylor 
Thomas Ocley 
Robert Mawnus 
Nicholas Kyrshawe . 
Robert Belts . 
Joes Radwiche 
William Riccarde 
John Guthrie . 
Samuel Knapp 
Richard Sadler 
Francis Booty . 
John Birch 
Samuel Birch . 
Thomas Fuller 
Francis Turner 
Thomas Barne 
Archibald Brice 
Courtenay Boyle Bruce 

Date. Patrons. 

1431 The Bishop. 

1436 Id. 

1474 Id. 

1475 Id. 
1511 Id. 
1523 Id. 

1557 Edward, Lord North. 

15C6 Id. 

1617 Sir John Tasburgh. 

1622 Thomas Knapp, p. h. v. 

16C5 John Gooch, Esq. 

1684 Thomas Baxter, Gent. 

1705 John Tasburgh, Esq. 

1706 Baldwin Conyers, Esq. 

1737 Anthony Ellys, D.D., p. h. v. 

1743 Bishop, by lapse. 

17SH) Alexander Adair, Esq. 

1795 Id. 

1828 Id. 

Estimatur ad xii marc. 


This parish formed the nucleus of the ancient demesne of South Elmham. The 
bishops had a residence here from the time of Herbert de Lozinga, who obtained the 
see of Norwich in 1094, to their final disseisin of the estate in the reign of Henry VIII, 
In the early mansion, which has been conjectured ' I think without reason to have 
occupied the site of the residence of the Danish leaders, Herbert and his successors 
dwelt, occasionally, in feudal magnificence. Walter de Suffield, a prelate of the thirteenth 
century, who united the character of a strict devotee with a free indulgence in martial 
and sylvan sports, kept great state at South Elmham ; and we may infer that his pack 
of hounds considered worthy the acceptance of his monarch made the merry woods 
of St. Margaret re-echo with their notes. He died in 1257, and bequeathed to Gotle of 
South Elmham, who was probably his steward, a legacy of 3 marks. Walter de 
Skerning, his successor, died at " his manor-house " of South Elmham on the 22nd of 
January, 1278, but was interred in the Lady chapel of his cathedral at Norwich. 

Jermyn MSS. 


Bishop Bateman, who was advanced to the see in 1343, was much attached to this 
residence. His partiality to the place arose, in all probability, from its locality to 
Flixton, where his brother Sir Bartholomew resided. He purchased considerable estates 
in the neighbourhood. These prelates occupied, without doubt, the mansion erected by 
Herbert; for the buildings of those days were constructed for duration; though the 
house appears to have been shortly after demolished : for in the eleventh of Richard II., 
1387, Henry de Spencer, " the warlike Bishop of Norwich," obtained a license from his 
monarch to kernellate, or embattle, his manor-house of South Elmham. His mag- 
nificent and martial habits lead us to conclude that this Avas done on an extensive scale, 
and in a style which combined much of the castellated with the domestic architecture 
of the day. 

From the lapse of time, and the vicissitudes which the place has experienced, we seek 
in vain for any considerable remains of Spencer's mansion, once calculated, no doubt, 
to accommodate the numerous retinue of feudal state and rude magnificence. The 
present house, which occupies a part of the site, and retains the name of its statelier 
predecessor, is, in all probability, a portion of Bishop Spencer's "kernellated manor- 
house," though externally modernized and modified to existing circumstances ; the 
durable materials and strong construction of its massy walls referring it to an early 
period. Its site, which is high and commanding, is encompassed by a broad and deep 
moat, enclosing about three acres. Within this area arose a vast quadrangular man- 
sion, entered through a lofty gateway-tower, the remains of which were almost entire 
in the latter part of the seventeenth century. This gate-house was approached by a 
long and wide avenue of oaks, most of which are still flourishing and majestic, although 
planted by Bishop Nix in the year 1520. The lofty hall and gigantic kitchen have left 
no traces to identify their position, and that of the various minor apartments defies 
speculation. A small room on the west side of the quadrangle, and immediately 
opposite to the great gate-house, is pointed out to visitors as the chapel of this extensive 
pile ; but no appropriation can be more misplaced. Without noticing its inadequacy to 
accommodate one quarter of the numerous retainers of the prelates, the proofs of its 
having been a private and low apartment are evident ; and its position, close upon the 
postern gate and drawbridge, the piles of which were discovered a very few years since, 
when the moat was cleansed, refer it, with more probability, to a porter's lodge. The 
room is open to the elements, in its present ruined state, but terminates towards the 
north hi a lofty and acute gable, in which, at regular heights, are holes left for the 
reception of floor-beams. A wide well of rubble-stone and mortar has lately been laid 
open, and the pavement of several apartments discovered at the same time, which 
seemed to have been appropriated to inferior purposes. The tenacity of ancient masonry 
is strongly exhibited at this place, where several portions of old foundation walls are 



lying in the garden, some of which measure three or four yards in length, and have 
been dragged by horses from a distant quarter of the area, and deposited entire in the 
spot where they lie. When the moat was cleansed a few years since, by the present oc- 
cupant, between three and four thousand cart-loads of mud were scooped from its bed ; 
but the only discoveries made were a few earthen jars of a comparatively modern date. 
South Elmham Hall, in its prouder days, was much visited by pilgrims, on their way 
to the chapel of Our Lady of Walsingham, and the flat thin coin known as pilgrims' 
tokens, stamped with a rose and a cross, are not unfrequcntly found among the ruins. 
The farm, which surrounds the remains of South Elmham Hall, is still known in the 
neighbourhood as the Park Farm. 

The family of the late Mr. Norman, of South Elmham Hall, has been settled for 
several centuries in the township. About the time of the old Pretender, that gentle- 
man's grandfather was deputed by some member of the family, then owners of Flixtou 
Hall, to convey a casket of jewels to a lady residing in a certain convent in France. 
Having safely delivered lu's charge to the fair hands of the devotee, through the convent 
grate, he returned to Dover, where the authorities had been for some time previous on 
the look-out for the Pretender. Mr. Norman, being habited in the old English costume, 
with a laced cocked-hat, and having somewhat of a military carriage, was immediately 
seized as that prince, and lodged in Dover Castle, where he was immured, and 


guarded with the utmost circumspection, till letters arrived from Suffolk to certify his 

Gregory Clarke, of Bungay, Gentleman, by his will dated May llth, 1723, devises 
to his son, Gregory Clarke, all his houses, lands, &c., in the parishes of St. Margaret, 
St. Peter, and Flixton, and South Elmham. He leaves to the poor of Bungay 5, to 
the poor of Mettingham 20s., and to the poor of Earsham 20*., to be distributed in the 


at St. Margaret's, which is a moderately sized building, comprising a nave and chancel 
only, with a square tower, open to the body of the church, and containing five bells, is 
in sound and reputable condition. The rectory was consolidated with that of St. 
Nicholas on the 20th of July, 1362, 2 but it does not appear when they were severed. 
It was subsequently consolidated with the adjoining benefice of St. Peter in 1734, 
and so remains. 3 The church was built about the reign of King John, though it has 
been remodified at various periods. It contained, before the Reformation, a Guild of 
St. Margaret, and an image of St. Thomas. William Thederick, Rector, by his last will, 
proved on the llth of January, 1504, leaves his body to be buried in the church of 
St. Margaret South Elmham, before the image of Saint Thomas. 4 

Against the north wall of the chancel is a small inarched recess, and in various parts 
of the interior are the following monumental records : Elizabeth Britten, wife of John 
Carter, died Dec. 3rd, 1748, aged 23. John Buxton, Esq., died 21st of January, 1712, 
aged 78 ; his wife died the llth of May, 1710, aged 58. 

This John Buxton was the second son of John Buxton, of Tibbenham, Esq., an 
ancestor of the present Sir John Buxton, Bart., of Shadwell Lodge. He lived at South 
Elmham, and was patron of the church of Slumpling, in Norfolk, in right of his wife, 
who was daughter and heiress of Mr. Proctor, of Burston, in the same county. He 
left issue three sons and one daughter. 

Attached to this monument are the arms of Buxton, arg. a lion ramp, sable : his tail 
timied over lu's back, impaling Proctor, arg. a chevron gules. Guillim says " that 
although this manner of bearing, in respect of the tail, is rarely used, yet it is very 
ancient, as appears from an old table of the said arms, taken out of the monastery at 
Bungay, in Suffolk, having been hung up there before the dissolution of religious 
houses, for one styled Le Seneschal Buxton, which table then remained in possession of 
the said John Buxton. 5 

Katherine Randall died in the year 1681. 

2 Lib. Instil, pen. Epis. Norwic. 3 Id. 4 Will Book, Norwich. 5 Guillim's Heraldry. 



The parish of St. Margaret South Elmham contains 589 acres, 15 perches of land, of 
which 65 acres, 2 roods, 7 perches, are glebe. The tithes have been commuted for 
136. 1*. There is about half an acre of glebe, attached to this benefice, lying in 
All Saints South Elmham. The registers commence in 1679. 


Rectors. Date. 

William Skendelby .... 1309 

Joes de Tadelow .... 1312 

Thos. de Wederhale . . . 1326 

Richard de Ulflet .... 1329 

Will: fil: Math: de Wytnesham . 1338 

Nicholas Lacy . . . . 1346 

Samuel Gysoun . . . . 13-46 

Joes de Brymchampton, alias Stairlak 1349 
Nicholas de Cranwich 

Andrew de Colney, resigned 1362 . 1358 
William Skothowe .... 

Joes Ravene 1373 

Robert Rend3'lesham . . 1412 

William Douce . . . . 1420 

JohnCok 1425 

John Smith de Warden . 1426 

John Robin .... 1433 

John Dalvson . . . . 1458 

Richard Bartholomew . . . 1467 

William Thederick . . . . 1479 

Robert Gurnell .... 1504 

Robert Nooke .... 1545 

Christopher Batten . . . . 155" 

Thomas Broke . . . . 1563 

John Morland . . . . 1572 

William Goddard .... 1599 
Thomas Linseley .... 

Elias Sheen 1631 

JohnWoolmer .... 1679 

JohnWoolmer .... 1684 

Thomas Ibbott . . . . 1717 

John Kerrich 1732 

Peter Routh 1753 

Charles Jeffryes Cottrell . . . 1802 

Benjamin Evans .... 1807 

Edward Adolphus Holmes . . 1833 

VOL. I. 

Estimatur ad vij marc. 



The Bishop, pleno jure. 





The King. 


The Bishop. 





Thos. Godsalve.assig.oC Sir E. North, Knt. 

Edward, Lord North. 

The Bishop, by lapse. 

Sir Roger North, Knt. 


George Gooch, Gent. 

Robt. Woolmer, Gent. 

Thomas Baxter, Gent. 

Wm. Clayton, Clk., and Jane Clayton, 


Daniel Sayer, Gent. 
Grace Britten, widow. 
Alexander Adair, Esq. 

2 F 


This parish has estates vested in certain feoffees, which were purchased by the 
proprietors or occupiers of lands therein, of Thomas Gawdye, of Redenhall, in the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth, for certain uses mentioned in the feoffments, which are 
for the discharge of the leet, here due to the lord, for the repairs of the highways, 
bridges, &c., within the said parish ; and the surplus, if any, to be applied to charitable 
and pious uses at the discretion of the feoffees. There is, also, a town-farm, supposed to 
be given to this parish long since, vested, likewise, in trust ; and by an exemplification 
of a decretal order, under a commission of charitable uses in the reign of King James I., 
dated 1607, Robert Haghe and Thomas Carye are mentioned as donors. The uses of 
the rent and profits are to aid the inhabitants of the said parish in discharging and 
paying the fifteenths, tenths, and taxes, and other common local burthens and charges, 
happening to be charged upon the parishioners of the said parish. All the above 
lands are now vested in the hands of feoffees, and the rents and profits duly applied. 6 

Population in 1841, 181 inhabitants. 


is a very small parish, containing only 825 acres of land, with a population, in 1841, of 
145 inhabitants. The minister has no glebe but the church-yard. The advowson of 
St. Michael was granted at a very early period to the small cell and priory of Rumburgh. 
In 1207, William de Munkensy, fil: Will: de Munkensi tulit assisam de ecclie Scti 
Michael: de Elmham versus Priorem de Rumburgh. 1 The monks appear to have 
absorbed the entire proceeds of this benefice; for in 1241, when it was returned that 
the prior and convent of Rumburgh held this church for their own uses, it is added 
" nulla vicaria." 2 Upon the dissolution of that establishment in the reign of Henry 
VIII., it fell into the hands of that monarch, to whom it was granted by Act of 
Parliament in 1533. In 1555, John Redwyke held the impropriation, when the rectory 
was valued at 4. 18s. Qd. 3 In 1627, Bartholomew Andre or Audie held it, and 

William Myles was curate; and in 1636, Fairfax, curate of Rumburgh, also 

officiated here. On the 9th of May, 1709, Henry Kifford was the minister, 4 after 
which occur the following names. 

6 MSS. Norman. 
'Plac. 9 John. Harl. MSS. 972. 2 Lib. Inst. pen. Epis. Norwic. 3 Id. "Id. 


John Banks .... 1764 

Humphrey Waring ... 1 785 William Elmy, Esq. 

John Francis Browne Bohun . 1802 Bence Sparrow, Clk. 

The same, instituted a second time 1805 Bence Bence, Clk. 

William Tyson . . . . 1816 John Francis Browne Bohun. 

Estimatur ad x mare. 

It was consolidated, as a perpetual curacy, with that of Rumburgh, Ndv. 2nd, 1805. 

The impropriate tithes passed from the Rev. Bence Bence to John Norman, Gent., of 
St. Margaret South Elmham, and are now the property of his son-in-law, Mr. George 
Durrant. Many portions of the tithes,, however, have long been disposed of to the 
proprietors of lands within the parish. 5 

The manor was granted by Henry VIII. to Sir Edward North, 6 and passing with 
the other property in South Elmham, is now held by Sir Robert Shafto Adair. 


of St. Michael is a small, humble fabric, but boasting considerable antiquity ; and has 
a tine Norman doorway on the south side of the nave, with billet mouldings, in good 
preservation. It comprises a nave and chancel, with a square tower, in which now 
hangs one bell only ; two broken bells having been sold from it about five-and-twenty 
years since. It contains a plain octangular font, and is reputably kept, though the 
interior is damp, the edifice standing on a strip of cold wet common land. 

Monuments. Henry Longe, Gent., died 24th of Nov., 1727. Rebecca, his wife, 
daughter of Timothy Weld, Gent., died 4th of Dec., 1735. 

Arms. Longe a lion pass impaling Weld, .... a fess counter- 
crenellated erm., between 3 crescents. 

A piece of land, reputed to contain about two acres and a quarter, has been appro- 
priated, from ancient time, to the uses of the parish. It lies intermixed with the 
property of the Adair family, and its precise boundaries are unknown. The rent is 
applied in aid of the church and poor-rates. 


was consolidated and united with Saint Margaret's, July 27th, 1362, by Thomas 
Ayreminne, Bishop of Norwich, from which it was afterwards severed, and finally 
consolidated with All Saints, December the 8th, 1737. l 

s MSS. Norman. 6 Jermyn MSS. ' Registr. Norwic. 



An estate, consisting of about sixteen acres, in the parishes of St. Nicholas and St. 
James in South Elmham, was purchased in 1640 of John Sutton, by the inhabitants of 
Aldeburgh, in Norfolk, and conveyed by them, by deed to feoffees, to the intent that 
the said feoffees, their heirs, &c., should at all times employ the rents and profits, 
yearly, arising from the premises, to the only benefit and behalf of the inhabitants 
within the said parish : the time for distribution to be left to the discretion of the said 
feoffees. Annual produce stated to amount to 15, subject to the land-tax and other 
deductions. 2 

The church of St. Nicholas, which has long been ruinated, was taxed at nine marks. 3 





Clement de Peckham 


The Bishop. 

Thomas de Campania 



Joes de Reynes 



Simon Swafham 



Gasc. de Islyngton . 



Joes de Swathcfd 



Joes de Briggewauser 



Roger de Stow 



John de Warsop 



Simon de West Warden 



Henry de Wvndet 



Andrew de Colnev . 



Joes Hardingethorn 



William Copvnger . 



Robert Stowe . 



Gregory Watre 

Thomas Kingis 



Joes Galle 



Richard Dalby 



Robert Atte Fen 



Henry Halle 



Robert Barton 



Joes Ryngstede 



Joes Lowth 



Joes Key 



Thomas Morton 



Walter Cowper 



Norf. Charities, p. 2. 

3 Norwich Domesday. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

James Key . . . 1476 The Bishop. 

Thomas Whetecroft . 1483 Id. 

Robert Cowper . . 1492 Id. 

William Knollys . .. 1498 Id. 

Robert Flikke . . . 1524 Id. 
William Wickham . 

Henry Ringer . . . 1557 Edward, Lord North. 

Henry Ringer was inducted to All Saints in 1554; from which period to the 

present the same incumbents occur in the institutions of these two parishes. It is, 

therefore, most probable that the church of St. Nicholas fell into decay and desuetude 
about the above date. 

Population in 1841, 90. 


The manor, forming parcel of the lordship of South Elmham, has passed with that 
demesne from the see of Norwich to Sir Robert Shafto Adair, as already shown. It is 
a small village, containing only 571 acres, 1 rood, 30 perches of land, whereof 25 acres, 
2 roods, 28 perches, are glebe ; with a population of 91 souls, according to the census 
of 1841. It is chiefly remarkable for an ancient mansion called St. Peter's Hall, which 
stands about two hundred yards to the north of the church. As the estate on which it 
is situated was the property of the Tasburghs, as early as the reign of Edward III., and 
continued to be the place of their residence till the beginning of the sixteenth century, 
when they removed to Flixton Priory, there can be no doubt as to the family of its 
founder. I have sought, in vain, for a specific document to identify the period of its 
commencement, but from the analogy of its architecture to that of buildings whose date 
is ascertained, I should ascribe its erection to John Tasburgh, the father of the grantee 
of Flixton Nunnery. This gentleman died in 1509. In his will he desires his body 
to be buried in the church-yard of St. Peter's, towards the west, under the steeple . 
leaves "3s. to the parson out of Styland and Rokewood medow;" and further 
bequeathes v marks to the erection of a new rood-loft. 

A small portion only of St. Peter's Hall is standing to attest its former importance, 
which, following the fate of all old mansions, is converted into a farm-house. 



The mansion, when entire, formed a quadrangle, as usual, of which stables and 
offices made up a part. The domestic and ecclesiastical styles are singularly combined 
in this building, though the latter seems to predominate ; and the occasional discovery 
of old floor-stones, of a sepulchral character, intimates that the projecting porch led to 
the chapel of the dwelling, not into the hall ; and yet the ceilings of the chambers, 
where the two large and upper windows are observed, on the right hand of the porch, 
are flat, divided into small squares by the girders above, and covered with plastered 
mouldings in the manner usually seen in dwelling-houses of an early period. The 
interior, however, has been divided into its present arrangements, with portions of the 
demolished part of the house, and the antique character of these greatly deceives a 
modern investigator, and creates much confusion. It is very remarkable, that although 
the exterior is rather profusely ornamented with escutcheons, not a single shield is 
charged with an armorial cognizance. Surely the Tasburghs must have been " gentlemen 
of coat-armour " long before the fifteenth century. The building is cased with the finest 
squared stone, but appears, notwithstanding, to be in a very crazy and dilapidated con- 
dition. Part of the moat, of very unusual width, shuts in the south side of the premises. 

The St. Peter's Hall estate passed from the Tasburghs into the hands of the 
Barnardistons, from whom it went to a Mr. Price, of the city of London; of which 
gentleman it was purchased by William Adair, Esq., soon after his acquisition of the 
manor of South Elmham. 1 

1 MSS. Norman. 



comprises a nave and chancel only, with a good square tower of flint-work : it is of 
Norman construction, but evinces a total neglect of architectural purity in its later 
embellishments. The tower, which contains three bells, opens with a fine arch into the 
nave, over which is laid a good oak roof. The door to the rood-stairs, a broken piscina 
and sedilia, are remnants of papistical observances, happily gone by. 

There are a few old floor-stones without legends, but no modern memorials, in the 
interior. Against the north wall of the chancel is the lower part of a sculptured altar- 
tomb, which, probably, covers the remains of one of the Tasburghs, though their burial- 
place was in a north aisle or chantry ; which, falling into decay, has been recently pulled 
down. John Tasburgh, Esq., by his last will, dated 1473, desires to be buried in the 
chapel of our Lady Mary Virgin, on the north side of the church of St. Peter, before 
the image of our Lady. He gave the " glasses " of a window, at the west end of the 
steeple : a table of alabaster for the said chapel ; and further wills " that William 
Rust have 3 acres of land, called Hillys land, and the hows thereon builded : and after 
the decease of the said William, I will that the foreseyd hows go to poor folks to dwell 
in without end ; and the land to go to his heirs to repair the same hows." 2 Margery 
Tasburgh, his widow, by her last will and testament, dated February 16th, 1484, 
leaves her body to be buried in the chapel of the blessed Virgin Mary, in the parish 
church of St. Peter, near the body of John Tasburgh, her late husband. 3 

In the year 1819, while the writer was visiting this parish, collecting the materials 
which form the matter of the present notice, a person of gentlemanly address drove up 
to St. Peter's Hall, tenanted by the late Mr. Alden, the then churchwarden, inquiring 
if the church contained any brass effigies, as he was travelling through the country 
collecting such records of ancient families, with a view to their cleaning and restoration, 
promising to return them shortly to their original places. St. Peter's church afforded 
nothing to add to his collection, having been already stripped by some earlier iconoclast. 
The writer remembers that the applicant's gig-box was half full of brass effigies, which 
it is vain to hope ever found again their respective matrices. The observation is simply 
recorded to expose a system of plunder once recklessly pursued, and to warn all church- 
wardens to repulse applications of a like nature. 

Thomas Tubbing, Rector of St. Peter's, by his last will, proved May 29th, 1504, 
desires to be buried in the chancel of his church. 4 

The registers of this parish commence in 1678. 

This parish participates in the Smith's charity, mentioned in St. Margaret Ilketshall, 
page 165 : the sum received is generally from 6 to 10 per annum, which is distributed 
among poor persons. 

2 Will Book, Norwich. 3 Id. 4 id. 




Rectors. Date. 

Joes de Ulflet . . . 1328 

Johannes Wynch . . 1343 

Robert Marie war . . 1349 

Robert Morleword de Multon 1349 

Joes Tylay .... 1358 

Thomas de Welyngton . 1364 

Richard de Claythorp . . 1367 

Joes Austin . . . 1393 

Henry Sturdy . . . 1393 

Richard Tumour . . 1393 

Thomas Brakmeare . . 1397 

Joes Pcyke . . . 1399 

Joes Lammot . . . 1411 

Thomas Dely . . . 1426 

Richard Palmer . . . 1426 

Joes Payn .... 1435 

Joes Turney . . . 1443 

William Cosby . . . 1446 

Thomas Medwe . . . 1446 

Roger Burgeys . . . 1452 
Thomas Tubbing 

Joes Kneton . . . 1503 

Joes Shilton . . . 1507 

Thomas Smithe . . . 1510 

Robert Harlessey . . 1525 
Peter Birde 

Edmund Burton . . . 1554 

George Tumor . . . 1559 
Roger Byrd 

Bartholomew Awdye . . 1566 

Richard Arton . . . 1605 

John Birkenshaw . . 1625 
Bartholomew Golding . 

John Woolmer . . . 1677 

John Woolmer ... 1 684 

Thomas Ibbott . . . 1717 

John Kerrich ... 1 732 

Peter Routh ... 1 753 

Charles Jeffryes Cottrell . 1802 

Benjamin Evans . . 1817 

Edward Adolphus Holmes . 1833 


King ; the See being vacant. 























Edward, Lord North. 


Dorothea, Lady North. 

Sir John Tasburgh, Knt. 

Robert Woolmer, Gent. 

Thomas Baxter, Gent. 

Wm. Clayton, Clk., and Jane Clayton, widow. 

Daniel Sayer, Gent. 

Grace Britten, widow. 

Alexander Adair, Esq. 



Estimatur ad xii marc. Domesday. 




/ ?v UTFORD is reckoned a Half Hundred only, in the civil government of the 
county, and its parishes are included in the Half Hundred of Lothingland by the 
Domesday Commissioners. It lies in the Archdeaconry of Suffolk, and the Deanery 
of Lothingland, forming a part of the geldable portion of the county; and, in 
judicial affairs, is assigned to the Beccles division. In shape it forms a square, 
measuring about four miles on each side. It is bounded on the east by the 
German Ocean ; on the north by Lake Lothing, and Mutford Broad ; on the west by the Hundred of 
Wangford; and on the south by that of Blything. In 1561, the Hundred of Mutford returned the 
following list of freeholders : Mutford, 4 ; Kessingland, 1 1 ; Rushmere, 3 ; Pakefield, 6 ; Gisleham, 7 ; 
and Carlton, 8. ' 

The fee of this Hundred was, anciently, in the Crown; and Henry, the son of the Empress Matilda, 
held it. Edward de Hengrave possessed it in the reign of Edward II. Among the charters in the 
British Museum, 2 is the grant of Thomas Langle, and others, granting the Manor and Hundred of 
Mutford, in Suffolk, to Sir Walter Hungerford, Knt., Lord of Heytesbury, and of Hemet, and to John 
Tiptoft, Lord of Powys, Philip Courtiuey, Esq., John Paulet, and others, dated the seventh of Henry VI. 
In the twenty-fifth of the same reign there is a letter of attorney, 3 of Walter Hungerford, Knt., Lord 

of Heytesbury, Sir Fortescu, Knt., Sir Philip Courtiney, and Sir John Stourton, to John 

Wareyn, and Robert Talyard, to give seizen of the manor of Mutford, with its knights' fees, and 
advowsons of the churches belonging thereto, to William de la Pole, Marquis and Earl of Suffolk, and to 
Alicia his wife. 

The lordship of the Hundred was forfeited by their descendant, Edmund de la Pole, who was beheaded 
in 1513 ; and it was afterwards granted by Henry VIII. to Edmund Jernegan, and Mary his wife. She 
afterwards married Sir William Kingston, K.G., and died in 1572. 

William Tripp and Robert Dawe held the Hundred in 1589, by grant of Queen Elizabeth ; and John 
Arundell and Charles Waldgrave, by license from Henry Jernegan, in 1592. The family of Herne, or 
Hirne, afterwards held it, by conveyance from Henry Jernegan, and Henry his son. Sir John Ileven- 
ingham, Knt., and Bridget his wife, were the next possessors, by conveyance from the Hirnes, in 1600. 
In 1661, it was held by grant of Charles II., by the trustees of Lady Mary Heveningham. In 1679, Sir 
Thomas Allin, Knt., obtained it by purchase : Alice, wife of Edmund Anguish, enjoyed it by will, in 

1 Lansdowne MSS. Plut. 73, D. No. 7. 

VOL. I. 

2 -13, I. 50. 


1696 : Sir Richard Allin, alias Anguish, by settlement, in 1696 : Sir Thomas Allin, his son, held it in 
1731 : Sir Aslmrst Allin, Bart., his brother, and Sir Thomas Allin, his son, were next in possession ; and 
in 179-4 it was held by Thomas Anguish, Esq. 4 On his death it passed to the late Rev. George Anguish, 
his brother, on whose decease, about two years since, it fell to his nephew, Lord Sydney Godolphin 
Osbonie, son of the Duke of Leeds, who, in August, 1844, sold the lordship of this Hundred to Samuel 
.Morton Peto, Esq., of the city of London, who is the present possessor. 
The Hundred contains no market town, and eight villages only. 


Harnabv. Kirklev. 

Carlton Colville. 




4 Jcrinvn MSS. 


BARNABY is evidently, by its name, a village of Danisli origin, having been the residence 
of Barne, or Berne. In Domesday Book its spelling is corroborative of this derivation, 
being therein called Barneby. It must have been a spot of no inconsiderable import- 
ance in early days, as a promontory steps from the land abruptly to the marshes, and 
commands an unimpeded view of the three arms of the estuary which flow past it in 
their courses to Yarmouth, Lowestoft, and Becclcs, and which at high water must 
formerly have bathed the foot of the hill. The point juts out near the little public- 
house, called the Blind Man's Gate, and a handful of resolute men might even 7io\v 
maintain the pass against a very superior body of opponents. 

In the reign of Edward the Confessor, five free-men held, under Burchard, 44 acres 
of land, and half an acre of meadow, in this parish, then valued at seven shillings. At 
the time of the Survey, in the year 108(5, this estate had fallen to six shillings, in conse- 
quence of the depreciation in landed property, which resulted from the battle of 
Hastings. It was then the estate of Earl Hugh, though the Crown held a moiety of the 
soke. It had a church, endowed with the unusual quantity of 80 acres of glebe, valued 
at two shillings, and Hugh, the son of Norman, was the earl's tenant. The lordship 
appears to have been included in the grant of Mutford, and is now the manor of 
Mr. Peto, having passed to that gentleman from the family of Anguish. The families 
of Crofts and Thewt appear to have possessed interests here at an early period ; because 
in the British Museum is a charter of Beatrix, the daughter of Richard de Crofts, to 
Isabella, her sister, granting lands in Barneby. 1 The deed has neither date nor seal ; 
and in the second of Richard II., 1378, Agnes, late the wife of Thomas Thewt, con- 
veyed an estate to John de Moaunforth, situated in Barnaby, and to which is appended 
her seal. 2 

The church of Barnaby St. John was granted to the Priory of Butley soon after its 
foundation in 1171, and confirmed to it by John of Oxford, Bishop of Norwich. 3 This 
convent presented to the church till the dissolution of religious houses, when the 
patronage fell to the Crown, and was afterwards granted to Gonville Hall, in Cam- 
bridge, the master of which establishment presented in 1552. It is now held as a 
discharged rectory consolidated with the vicarage of Mutford, and the rectory of 

1 49, A. 15. 2 xxix. 78. 3 Kal. But. fol. 46. 


Wheatacre All Saints, in Norfolk ; and which consolidated preferment is in the gift of 
the master and fellows of Gonville and Caius College. The Reverend Joshua Burton, 
who died Rector of Barnaby in 1730, bequeathed by will 10, for the purchasing a 
rent-charge of five or four shillings a year, if it will thereunto reach, or less ; to be paid 
by his executors into the hands of his successor in the vicarage of Mutford cum Barnaby, 
within six months after his institution ; and which rent-charge was to be purchased by 
him ; and the proceeds to be paid yearly, and every year, for ever, to the Vicar of 
Mutford cum Barnaby, for the repairs of the chancel of Barnaby church ; * which sum 
of 10 was accordingly paid by the Rev. Martin Johnson, the executor of Mr. Burton, 
into the hands of the Rev. Christopher Smear, his successor, as appears by the 
acknowledgment of the latter gentleman. 5 

The church at Barnaby is a small narrow edifice, devoid of architectural grace or 
embellishment. It comprises a nave and chancel, without aisles, and has a square 
tower at the west end, in which hangs a solitary bell. The registers, preserved in the 
church, commence in the year 1701, but the older parochial records are united with 
those at Mutford, and bear the date of 1554. 

The parish is small, containing little more than 1000 acres, much of which is ordi- 
nary marsh-land, and the ample Saxon endowment of 80 acres of glebe has dwindled 
to less than five. The parish is not yet surveyed in conformity with the Commutation 
Act. A portion of marsh-land was apportioned to the poor, in lieu of the right of 
cutting furze on the common, when the parish was enclosed, which now produces about 
9 per annum, distributed in coals. 

The population in 1841 amounted to 296 souls. 





Petrus clc Skarniug . 


Prior of 


Thomas de Suddon . 



Richard de Bedyngfeld 



Robert de Bedvngfeld 



John de Dicleburgh . 



Adam de \Verlyngham 



Richard Hankyn 



William Slyp . 



Roger Borhed . 



Richard Smith 



Richard Hallefax 



William Walter 

John Ben 



' Mutford Register Book. 5 j,j 




Richard Catfield 
William Adlard 
William Hoye . 
Joes Mardys . 
Thomas Edmunds 
Robert Nudde . 
Roger Brandon 
William Wale . 
Richard Fletcher 
Alexander Smith 
William Crowe 

Date. Patrons. 

1473 Prior of Butley. 

1486 Id. 

1491 Id. 

1500 Id. 

1514 Id. 

1535 Id. 

1542 The King. 

1552 The Master and Fellows of Gonville Hall. 

1582 The Bishop, by lapse. 

1613 Master of Gonville Hall. 

Estimatur ad iij marc. 


CARLTON signifies the village of husbandmen, and the adjunct of Colville was obtained 
from a Norman family, that possessed great influence here. At the period of the 
Conqueror's Survey the parish formed part of the estate of Earl Hugh, but in Saxon 
times Burchard had held two carucates of land for a manor. It contained wood for 
30 pigs, 1 draught-horse, 8 geese, 23 pigs, and 100 sheep ; and its value had risen 
from 30s. to 40s. The village was one leuca and eight furlongs in length, and ten 
furlongs in breadth, and paid 4s. land-tax. In the same village thirty free-men had 
held, under Burchard, two carucates of land with six acres of meadow : they formerly 
had eight ploughs, but now kept only four ; and the estate had decreased in value from 
4 to 60s. 

Hugo de Montford also held an estate in Carlton, in which two free-men, as tenants 
of Burchard, held 30 acres, valued at 3s., and 400 herrings : and another free-man 
of Burchard farmed 30 acres of land, and half an acre of meadow ; and had kept, 
before the Conquest, a plough, but had then none. The value of this farm had 
not risen from the old rent, and was still valued at 5s., and 300 herrings. The 
family of Colville, descended from Gilbert de Colvylle, who is said to have come 
over in the army of William the Conqueror, was early enfeoffed here. Sir Roger de 
Colville obtained a license from the Crown to hold a market and fair in Carlton in the 
fifty-first of Henry III. In the following year (1267) this Sir Roger was Sheriff of 


Norfolk and Suffolk, and received of Robert de Kelling twenty shillings for not being a 
knight. He married Galiena Walpole, the King having honoured his nuptials with his 
presence. This knight was a person of tyrannical and arbitrary character. Upon the 
return of Edward I. from the Holy Land, he was charged with an undue exercise of 
his rights of free-warren, stretching his privileges beyond the license allowed by his 
monarch ; " posuit in defense de warren : sua plus qua id R. ei concessit." l And 
moreover, that under the pretence of having received a writ from the Crown for con- 
ducting certain persons to London, he had extorted from Ralph de Becket 40s. and 
\:2 pigs, when the said Ralph had never been to London; and that he had obtained 
from John le Latimer 30s. in the same way. 2 A further charge was exhibited against 
this rapacious knight, that he had raised a certain weir in the river, called Wicflet, 
and appropriated it to his own use, having no warrant to do so. 3 There is a charter 
extant 4 which shows the vast estate possessed by this family in Carlton and its neigh- 
bourhood, by which Roger de Colville grants to Robert his son, his manor of Coldham, 
with lands in lluggechall, lYostenden, Wangeford, Reydone, Estone, Wenhaston, 
Tlmriton, Northalc, llenstedc, Wrentham, Wiligham, Elech, Soterle, Magna Wirling- 
hani, Parva Wirlingham, North Cove, Beecles, Endegate, Barsham, Riggesfield, 
lu'dcsham, Branthorne, Schadcnfield, Westhal, and Stovcne, in the county of Suffolk, 
and (iilighani, in Norfolk. The Colvilles retained estates in Carlton long after they 
had alienated the manor ; for by an inquisition, taken on Monday after the feast of the 
decollation of St. John the Baptist, in the second of Richard II., it was found by the 
jury, that Roger Colville, Knt., held in Carlton and Petoughe one knight's fee, 
belonging to the castle and manor of Rising in Norfolk. 5 Roger de Mohaut also held 
two knights' fees in Carlton and Kessingland of the honour of Chester. 6 

The manor of Carlton Hall passed from the Colvilles early in the fourteenth century, 
when they retired to estates obtained by marriage with the heiress of De Marisco, or 
Marsh, in West Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. 

In 1348, Sir Bartholomew de Burghursh appears as lord of Carlton Colville. In 
that year he was in the wars of Gascony, 7 and obtained for himself and Cicely his wife, 
and their heirs, free-warren in Carlton Colville, and in all other their demesne lands. 8 
This gallant warrior died on the 5th of April, 13G9, his will having been made the day 
before. He left this manor to Elizabeth, his daughter and heiress, who married Edward, 
Lord Despencer. Sir Bartholomew constituted Margaret, his second wife, sister of 
Bartholomew, Lord Badlesmere, and Sir Walter Paveley, his executors. In Dugdale is 
a long and very interesting account of the funeral of this great warrior, who was buried 

1 Rotuli Hundredorum. - Id. 3 Id. 4 Brit. Mus. s Blomefield. 

6 Testa de NevUl, p. 291. 1 Froissart. Dugdale's Baronage, ii. p. 35. 


at Walsingham, in Norfolk, before the celebrated image of the Virgin there. He bore 
for arms, gules, a lion ramp: double queued or. Edward Despencer, Earl of Gloucester, 
died, seized of the manor of Carlton Hall, in the forty-ninth of Edward III., and 
bequeathed his body to be buried in the Abbey of Tewkesbury, near his ancestors. 9 
Richard Despencer, his grandson, dying in 1414, without issue, this manor became the 
property of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Worcester, in right of Isabel his wife, sister 
and heiress of the aforesaid Richard Despencer. The manor passed, upon the death of 
Richard Beauchamp, in 1431, without issue male, to James, Lord Audley, from whose 
successors it passed, in somewhat less than a century, to the family of Brcwes, who 
retained it about a hundred years. The lordship was next the property of the 
Heveninghams ; Sir Arthur Heveningham holding it in 1024, and William Hevening- 
ham, Esq. presenting to the church in 1657. It has subsequently been held by the 
Allins, who bequeathed it to the family of Anguish, and was held by the late Rev. 
George Anguish, of Somerleyton Hall, whose nephew, Lord Sydney Godolphin Osborne, 
sold it in 1844 to Samuel Morton Peto, Esq., of the city of London, who is the 
present lord. 

Carlton Hall is a modern farm-house, having been built about a century ago on the 
site of the old mansion, which was destroyed by fire. This calamity is thus recorded in 
the registers of the parish : 

"On Sunday, April IS, 1736, Carleton Hall, bake-house, barn, and stables were 
burnt down by a foul chimney taking tire. 

" JOHN CRETTAN, Tenant." 

The inhabitants of Carlton Colville claim a right of free fishery in Spratt's, and 
other waters in Carlton Ham. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth there was a suit 
between the said inhabitants arid the lord of the manor, who claimed an exclusive right 
of fishing therein ; when judgment was given in favour of the inhabitants. 10 


A manor, with a moiety of the tithes of this parish, was granted at an early period 
to the Priory of Broomholm, in Norfolk, and continued there till the Dissolution, when 
it fell to the Crown. On the 22nd of February, 1585, Queen Elizabeth demised the 
moiety of Broomholm for three lives to Joanna Skeene, the wife of Robert Skeene, 
Helen Skeene, and Robert Skeene, the son of the said Robert Skeene. The said Queen 
did afterwards, by letters patent, under the Great Seal of England, dated 27th of June, 

9 Dugdale's Baronage. 10 Records in parish chest. 


in the fortieth year of her reign, give and grant unto Sir Michael Stanhope, of Sudborne, 
and Edward Stanhope, and their heirs, amongst other things the said moiety. These 
parties sold this moiety, on the 23rd of November, eighth of James L, to Robert Skeene 
the elder, and his heirs for ever, who, in 1661, resold the same moiety to Robert 
London, Gent, The Londons again sold it for 1000 to Augustine Reeve, Esq., of 
Eracondale; but in 1682 it was reconveyed to the aforesaid Robert London. On the 
'22nd of December, 1727, the said Robert London, by his will, reciting that he had 
agreed with the Rev. John Tanner, commissary, and Vicar of Lowestoft, to convey 
to him and his heirs, the said moiety of the tithes of Carlton, and a farm in that parish, 
for 1330, and had received 100 in part payment, devised the said tithes, &c., 
to be sold to the said Mr. Tanner, by his executors, on payment of 1230. Mr. 
Tanner devised them to Thomas Tanner, Rector of Hadleigh, who passed them in 1785 
to Richard Mills, his son-in-law, for life ; with power to Mary Elizabeth, his daughter, 
wife of Mr. Mills, to dispose of them as she pleased, either in her lifetime, or by will. 11 
Richard Mills sold this moiety of the tithes of Carlton, with the farm, &c., to Charles 
Pearse, Gent., in 1S03, for 9334. 13*. 4d., whose son is the present possessor. 

The manor of Broomholm became united with that of Carlton Hall after the Dissolu- 
tion. By a deed of indenture, dated April 1st, twenty-second of James L, between Sir 
Arthur Heveninglmm, and Dame Mary his wife, on the first part, and Sir John 
1 levcningham, and Dame Bridget his wife, on the second part, Sir John Corbett, and 
others, on the third part, the manors of Carlton Hall, and Broomholm, and the 
advowson of the church of Carlton, were settled on Sir John Heveningham and Dame 
Bridget his wife, for life; and then to their childi'cn : 12 but in 1648, William 
Heveningham, their son, being one of the judges of Charles I., was at the restoration 
tried and convicted of high treason, and had all his estates forfeited. Being one of the 
nineteen regicides who surrendered themselves upon the proclamation of the 6th of 
June, 1660, he was pardoned; and the year following, Mary, daughter of John, 
Earl of Dover, his second wife, obtained a patent from Charles II., for most, if not all, 
of her husband's estates, 13 amongst which was this of Carlton ; for we find it held by 
the trustees of Lady Mary Heveningham. It subsequently passed as has been shown 
in the descent of Carlton Hall. 

The moiety of the tithes here, and the manor, were probably granted to the Priory 
of Broomholm in 1252 ; for in that year Gilbert, son of Thomas de Ilketshall, gave to 
that establishment his tithes in Hedenham, viz.: two garbs of the demeans of Gilbert, 
and also two garbs of the demeans of Roger de Mohaut in Kessingland, and also of the 
demeans of Roger de Colville, of Carlton. 14 

11 Jermyn MSS. l<i Id. ' Blomefield. 14 Id. 


The parish contains nearly 2800 acres of land ; and the tithes of the Rector's 
mediety, comprising 1518 acres and 36 perches, have been commuted for 392. 10s., 
including 5. 10*. as the tithe of the glebe lands. Mr. Hall, Rector of Carlton, let 
his mediety of the tithes in 1769, for twenty-one years, provided he should so long 
live, for 120. 9s. per annum. 

A national school was built here in 1843, at the cost of 200, towards which the 
Rev. George Anguish, the late lord and patron, gave 70. 40 were obtained from 
the society at Ipswich ; 60 from the Privy-Council ; the residue being furnished by 
private subscriptions, of which Mr. Pearse gave 10. The number of scholars educated 
therein amounts to about 85 ; the entire population of the parish amounting, in 1841, 
to 785 souls. 

The advowson of Carlton was sold by Lord Osborne in 1844 to W. Andrews, Esq., 
for 3000. 


which is dedicated to St. Peter, is not inelegantly proportioned, but being open to the 
thatch of the roof, has a very barn-like appearance. It comprises a nave and chancel, 
with a square tower ; and has a porch on the south side, on which is placed a stone 
cross. A degree of sanctity appears to be still attached to this relic of ancient super- 
stition, as a pilgrimage was made to it not more than two or three years since by a 
stranger, who remained before it on his knees for a considerable time, and left the 
parish immediately on the conclusion of his prayers. The church must be of considerable 
antiquity, as there is a small round-headed window in the north wall of the nave, 
though the general features of the edifice are of a later period. It contains a good 
octangular font of stone. There was formerly a chapel of Our Lady here, and provision 
for finding a light to burn before the image. 15 Some of the windows were also filled 
with stained glass, as we learn from the will of Robert Dolfyn, who died in 1505. 
" I bequeath v marc for a glass window to be had in the south est side of the church 
door, desyring to have in the said window the images of Our Lady, St. John y e Evan:, 
St. John y e Bapt:, desyring also to have the picture of my fader and moder, with my 
sons and my daughters." 16 Matthew Belyngeham, of Carlton Colville, by his last will, 
dated Oct. 18th, 1473, desires his body to be buried in the church of St. Peter of 
Carlton, and leaves to Catharine, his daughter, 3 in money. 17 

On digging a grave in the chancel, in 1837, for Martha, the wife of John Reeve, 
who died on the 25th of September in that year, the body of John Brown, who died 

l& Rix. 358. 333. Norwic. ' Rix. 358. v Harl. MSS. 

VOL. 1. 2 H 


Rector of Carlton in 1717, was discovered in a nearly uncorrupted state. His head 
was covered with venerable grey locks, and the shroud perfect. One argument if 
any were needed against interring within the walls of churches : a practice which 
originated in the superstitions of a darker age, and was fostered by the cupidity of the 

Monuments. Mary Ann Jermyn, died Nov. 3, 1834, aged 17 years. Sarah, wife 
of Charles Pearse, Gent., died June, 1740, aged 68. Charles Pearse, died Dec. 29, 
1744, aged 68. Pearse bears, vert a bend cotised or, and impales a chev. erm. between 
3 crescents. 

Charles Pearse, died 28 Sept., 1783, aged 74. 

Charles Hall, Rector, died June 13, 1770. 

Robert, son of James Selling, died Aug., 1671. Robert Selling, son of Robert 
Selling, Gent., died 26 Sept., 1686, aged 44. Mary Selling, died Oct. 20th, 1692. 

On opening a grave in the church-yard, in May, 1844, the skeletons of about thirty 
persons were discovered lying close to each other. The clerk says there was a pestilence 
in this parish some centuries since, and that these were the remains of persons who 
died infected. The registers of this parish commence thus : " A register book for 
Carlton Colvile parish, begun in the year 1710 by John Browne, Rector, being the 40th 
year from his induction." The older registers were burnt when Carlton Hall was 
destroyed by fire, as already related. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

William de Western (rec : med : 1 ,'52G 

Alanus Seger . . . 1329 Sir John de Cove. 

John de Sporle . . . 134!) Bartholomew Burghursh, Mil. 

Richard Mayster . . 13C1 Id. 

William Pyk . 1399 Eliz : Una la Despencer. 

John Eyr . . . 1426 Att: Ric: de Bello Campo. 

William Hyveden . . . 1444 Jacob: Dns de Audeley, et Alianor: ux: 

Richard Pede ... 1444 Id. 

Nicholas Henley . . . 1447 Id. 

John Bempdebow . . . 1455 Id. 

Alanus Braytoft . . . 146'0 John, Lord Audeley. 

John Ifeld . . 1465 Humphrey Audeley, Arm. 

Robert Cade . . . 1465 Id. 

William Craske . . . 1473 The King. 

Richard Colman . . . 1493 John Audeley, Arm. 




Nicholas Fuller . 
Robert Bard 
John Harrys 
John Dixson 
William Stephans . 
Jacobus Lawsou , 
John Gough 
Robert Tenet 
Robert Tenet 
Robert Seaman 
Robert Seaman 
John Brawlerd 
John Brown 
Joseph Poolhouse 
Robert Wolmer 

Charles Hall 
John Ewen . 
Edward Jermyn 

Date. Patrons. 

1524 Joanna Brewes. 

1525 Ead., relict of Thomas Brewes, Esq. 
1537 Ead. 

1540 Ead. 

1554 Ead. 

1560 Sir John Brewes. 

1562 Id. 

1565 Id. 

1596 Thomas Brewes. 

1596 Robert Brewes, Arm. 

1657 William Hevcningham. 

1670 Charles Cornwallis de Rock ; co: Wig. 

1717 Sir Richard Allin, Bt. 

1719 Sir Richard Allin, Bt., Henry, Earl of Uxbridge, 

and Sir Hen. Ashurst, Bt. 

1764 His own petition. 

1770 Sir Ashurst Allin, Bt. 

1806 The King, on lunacy of Thos. Anguish, Esq. 

Estimatio ejusdem xxxiij marc. 

THE Domesday record of this village is very brief. Gurth, the brother of Harold, held 
the manor, which at the Conquest was transferred to Earl Hugh, and retained its value 
of 8 shillings. Hugo de Montford had a small estate here, valued at 2s. and Qd. and 
200 herrings, and another farm, valued at 5 shillings and 300 herrings. 

In 1270, Alan de Wymenhale had free-warren, with a grant of a fair and a market, 
in Gisleham, Carlton, &c. ; ! and in 1282, William de Gisleham had the same in 
Gisleham, Kessingland, Shadenfield, and Brampton. 2 In the ninth of Edward I., 
Edward Hengrave held the lordship of Gisleham, from whom it passed to Sir John 
Ulveston. By a deed, dated at Gisleham in 1356, Ralph le Megre, parson of the 
church of Kessingland, and Richard le Megre, his brother, released to John de Ulveston 
all their right and interest in the manor, &c., of Gisleham, and in the lands and houses 

1 Carta 55 Hen. III. p. unica. m. 10. 

2 Carta 10 Ed. I. n. 19. 


in Gisleham, Rushmere, Kessingland, Henstede, Carlton, Beccles, and Mutford, which 
they held under a demise of the aforesaid John de Ulveston. 3 The manor next passed 
to Sir William Argentein, and from him to Thomas Latymer, Esq. 4 In the reign of 
Edward IV. it was the property of the Alyngtons, as the following conveyance will show. 

" Noveritis &c. me Johm Alyngton, armigerm ordinasse Will: Frances, et attornatos meos ad 
deliberandm manerium meum de Geselham, in Com: Suff, Johi Scott, Willo Hawte, Johi Say, Johi 
Cheyne, Johi Heveningham, milit, Johi Sellyng, et Margarete uxi ejus, Vincentio Fynch, Thome 
Gadewelle, civi &c. Lend:, Johi Eyr, et Johi Everard, &c. Dat: 21 Nov., 6 Ed. 4th." 5 

The Alyngton family, however, retained the manor till the reign of Henry VIII., 
when it passed to Henry Hubbard, Esq., who was in possession of it in the thirty-third 
of that reign. fi In 1672, Robert Richman was lord, and in 1749, it was the property 
of Richmond Gamcys, Esq., who obtained it by marriage. Charles Garneys, Esq., of 
lledenham, died seized of it soon after the year 1800, when it came, by heirship, to 
Lord Boston, who now holds it with Gisleham Hall, and about 200 acres of land. It 
is called the manor of Gisleham cum Pyes. The manor of Fastolfs in this parish has 
now no court kept for it. St. Mary's College, in Brisley and Thetford, had divers 
lands and revenues in Gisleham, Rushmere, and the adjoining towns, which after the 
Dissolution continued in the Crown till the twenty-ninth of Elizabeth, when they were 
granted by that Queen to Edward Wyinark or Wymarsh, Gent., and his heirs, to be 
held by the rent of 3,v. and 4d. per annum. 7 

At the latter end of the 13th century the family of Byskele or Bixley had con- 
siderable possessions here. By a deed, dated in 1299, Robert Ulsy of Gisleham, 
Herbert Faber, and Henry Faber, exchange and grant divers lands to John de Byskelee, 
and Clemencia his wife ; and in the same year, John Brunflet, of Carleton, granted to 
William Botild, of Gisleham, 2s. annual rent, out of his lands lying between the lands 
of Roger de Welington, John dc Biskelee, and Simon Germy, of Gisleham. Dated at 
Gisleham "die dominica pxa ante fes: Sci Mich: 28 Ed: I." 8 In the year 1343, the 
Byskeles seem to have held a manor here, as appears by the following charter : 9 

" Universis &c. Reginaldus dc Byskelee, miles, saltm: noveritis &c. qd cu dna Clemencia, que 
fuit uxor Dni Johis de Byskelee, militis, tent ad terminal m vite sue de dono meo manerium de Giselham, 
et medietate advocacois ecclie de Resthemere, cu omis tris ten in Giselham, Resthemere, Kessingland, 
Henstede, Mutford, Benacre, Pagefcld, Kyrkele, Barneby, Carlton, Beclos, et Wache, cu pten suis &c. 
volo, tamen, q d licet dca Dna Clemencia in dcis maneriis terris &c. fecerit vastum, exitioum, et 
destrucion, nee ego nee hedes mei propter hoc versus dcam Dnam habeamus accoem &c. Data apud 
Giselhm die martij pxla post fin Ann: B. M. V. 18 Ed. 3." 

3 Cole's MSS. 4 Jermyn MSS. 5 Cole's MSS. vol. xxxv. 6 Jermyn MSS. 

7 Blomefield. Cole's MSS. vol. xxxv. Id. 


Sir John de Biskele, or Bixley, held a manor in Bixley, in the county of Norfolk, in 
1303, which he settled on his son Nicholas. 10 

The site of Gisleham Hall, which abutted upon the extensive common, enclosed in 
1799, is encompassed by a double moat, the outer of which includes about four acres. 
The space contained within the smaller moat measures 38 yards from east to west, by 
45 from north to south. 

No traces of the ancient mansion are visible, but Mr. Button, the present respectable 
tenant, informs me, that he remembers the courts to have been held on the site, when 
they were adjourned to the present hall, which is a substantial and rather old farm- 
house. His father took up the foundations of the drawbridge on the south about the 
year 1794. Under one of the large timbers were discovered two balls of metal, 
engraved with coats of arms, which were sent to Charles Garneys, Esq., the landlord, 
and disposed of at the sale of his effects, after his death, about forty years since. 

The site of Gisleham Hall has attained notoriety of late, from having been the 
scene of a foul murder committed there on the person of James M Fadden, an Irishman, 
employed in the rural police. This unfortunate person was shot in the thigh upon the 
edge of the moat, in the night of Sunday, the 28th of July, 1844, by one of a numerous 
and organized gang of thieves, who had long infested the neighbourhood. The 
murderer was identified, and suffered the extreme penalty of the law at Ipswich, on the 
25th of March, 1845. Tradition relates that Gisleham was also early the scene of a 
sanguinary conflict between the inhabitants of the neighbom-hood and a party of Danes, 
who landed on the coast, and established themselves in the village. A mound of earth 
at the eastern extremity of the parish, near Pakefield, retains the name of Bloodmore 
Hill, and is believed to mark the site of the battle-field. A Mr. Downing, in sinking a 
pit, about the year 1780, at this spot, came upon the remains of armour, spears, horses' 
bits, and broken stirrup irons. Mr. Reynolds, the then Rector of Gisleham, stopped 
further search, and insisted on their being reburied ; where they probably now lie. 
These fragments of ancient warfare would appear to belong to a Roman period, rather 
than a Danish, if the following narration be entitled to credit. "In the year 17(iS a 
skeleton was found in a barrow on Bloodmore Hill, near Pakefield, round whose neck 
hung a gold medal, and an onyx set in gold. The legend round the medal was 
D: N: T: AVITVS. On the obverse, a rude head, hehneted, with a cross on the 
shoulder : on the reverse, VICTORIA AVGGG exergue CON OB. On the onyx was a 
man standing by a horse, and holding the reins with a " hasta pura " in his right hand, 
and a star on his helmet." 

By the following paper it appears that Gisleham was one of the villages armed by 

10 Blomefield. 


Government, in consequence of the Queen's commission, dated 8th March, 1579, 
" touching the armor of armes " to be provided by townes in Suffolk. The document 
has no date, but was probably issued soon after the defeat of the Spanish Armada. 

The Constables of Gyslam as to bryng in, att the next muster, the armor and wepon hereafter' 
followeing with the men namyd with duble letters, furnyshed as they ar appoynted. 

Roger Hullock, one corslet furnyshyd with one Allman Rivet furnyshyd. 

a a Robert Hullocke, a Collyver furnyshyd. 

a a Sipprian Hullocke, a Bowe and a sheffe of arrowes. 

p p John Butcher, a harquebut furnyshyd, and an Allman Rivet furnyshyd. 

;; p Thomas Peyton. 

;) p Robert Frost, a byll and a scull. 

fl g Thomas Martin, a byll. 

p p Thomas Smyth. 

a a Symond Robinson, a bowe and sheffe of arrowes, and a skull. 

b h Thomas Bary, one cote of platt fumyshyd, and a archur furnyshyd. 

p p Johis Maundy. 

li tj Thomas Gcsse, a payer of splints, a byll and a sallct, and a collyver furnyshyd. 

]i p Edwar Gesse, a byll, one harquebut and flaske, a tuch box. 

h b Robert Whighting, one cote, a payer of splints and a byll. 

4 Richard Ilurrie, a byll and a scull. 

p p William Scarfe, a byll, splints, and a sallett and a flaske. 

Walter Biillocke, a byll. 

fj y Robert Raynaburrowe, a byll. 

;; p Robert Thurston, a byll. 

brig. R. R. 

The family of Woodthorpe has been settled for many generations in this parish. 
Thomas Woodthorpe, of Mutford, was living there in 1683. He gave 2*. 6d. to the 
rebuilding of Kessingland church. In 1691, Thomas Woodthorpe, of Mutford, bought 
the estate in Gisleham and Rushmere of a Mr. Baker, then living at Beccles. He 
devised by will, dated in 1704, the said estate to Thomas Woodthorpe, his grandson, 
eldest son of Thomas Woodthorpe, of Gunton. In May, 1733, Thomas Woodthorpe, 
son of the late owner, came into possession, by heirship, and in 1774, gave by will unto 
his eldest son, Thomas, the said estate. In 1826, Thomas Woodthorpe gave it to Mr. 
Thomas Woodthorpe, the present possessor, whose son Thomas, a minor, is the seventh 
of that name born in the house attached to the property. This mansion is a good and 
respectable dwelling-house, much modernized externally, but is certainly as old as the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth. On a beam in one "of the parlours are cut the following 
dates : 1590, 1667, 1692, 1841. The first date is probably that when the house was 
built ; the second shows when the family of Baker came into possession, by purchase of 


Thomas Crowfoot, of Westhall, who had bought it in 1631: 1692 marks the possession 
of Thomas Woodthorpe, who had purchased the estate the year preceding; and 1841, 
the last date, records a modern substantial repair. 

Thomas Crowfoot, of Westhall, was son of William Crowfoot, living in 1631, whose 
representative is William John Crowfoot, M. D., of Beccles ; whose sister, Anna Maria, 
married the Rev. J. W. Crabbe, a son of the poet. William Henchman Crowfoot, Esq., 
now of Beccles, representative of a junior branch of this family, is descended from 
Humphrey Henchman, Bishop of London in 1663 ; and has by Mary Bowles, his wife, 
who sprung from Tobias Rustat, the founder of the Rustat scholarships at Cambridge, 
William Edward Crowfoot, John Rustat Crowfoot, and Mary Crowfoot, all living, 1846. 
William Edward Crowfoot, the eldest son, married, in 1833, Ellen Miller, and has issue. 
These arms of this family are recorded in the Heralds' College. 

An old cottage in this parish, formerly the pest-house, was repaired by Mr. 
Woodthorpe in the year 1838, who, on pulling down a partition between two chambers, 
discovered a crucifix embossed in plaster, with two or three images of saints. They 
were covered with reeds and mortar, and again consigned to darkness. In 1630, 
Edward Hobart, of Langley, in Norfolk, lord of the manor of Gisleham, granted the 
inhabitants a license to build a house at the end of a lane leading from the church to 
Rothinghall heath, to be for ever the dwelling of an orderly poor man. 11 

The parish contains 1344 acres, 2 roods, 3 perches of land, commuted for 410. 
The glebes amount to 7 acres, 1 rood, 8 perches, including the church-yard. The 
patronage of the living has always been in the Crown. 

Population in 1841, 254. 


which is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, comprises a nave and chancel, with a round 
tower, in which hang two bells. There is a large south porch \_ and a very fine one on 

11 Ex carta orig. pen. auct. 


the north side was pulled down not many years since. The entire fabric is covered 
with thatch. In the interior will be found an octagonal font of more than average 
merit, and the lower portion of a screen, which in its entire state must have been of 
surpassing richness and elegance : on it were painted the twelve apostles. In a north 
window of the nave are two figures standing beneath shattered canopies of painted 
glass ; the heads of both of which are broken. They were intended to pourtray 
William Gange, and Margaret his wife. The man is habited in blue, with scarlet 
breeches and yellow stockings ; but the female is dressed all in blue. There was also 
an " Ecce Agnus Dei," and an image of a saint, of which fragments only remain. Some 
good windows formerly lighted the chancel, which are now built up with masonry : the 
east window alone remains, put in by the late Rev. George Anguish, while Rector, who 
also built the parsonage-house. The interior is neat, but has been dreadfully barbarized. 

J/o/w#i"W,y. On a brass plate, just within the altar-rails, is this inscription : " Here 
lyctli buryed the body of Adam Bland, of the city of London, Esquier, and Sergeant to 
lirr Majesty, who departed this life the xiij day of October, in the yeare of our lord 
god, 15<J:3." 

Bland bears, on a bend, 3 pheons reversed ; with a crescent for difference. 

A moiety of the patronage of the church at Wretton, in Norfolk, was in the lord of 
Wiron Hall, and granted to the Abbey of West Uereham. On the Dissolution it fell to 
the Crown, and was granted, with the rectory-house and glebe lands, Sept. 14th, 1570, 
to this Adam Bland, Esq. 

William Kess, Gent., died 4 Nov., 1609. 

Joshua Burton, A. M., formerly one of the senior fellows of Gonville and Caius 
Coll., and afterwards Prebendary of St. Paul's, London, and Rector of this parish, died 
2 Oct., 1730, aged 00. 

Metyer Reynolds, 38 years Rector, died Feb. 17th, 1797, aged 83 years. 

Martin Johnson, A. M., Rector, died Feb. 23, 1758, aged 57. 

The registers commence in 1559. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

John of Hemmesby . . 1330 The King. 

John of Martham . . Id. 

EliasofHoxne . . . 1339 Id. 

William of Whaten . . 1350 Id. 

Thomas of Segbrook . . 1361 Id. 

William Myryfeld . . 1383 Id. 




John Hynewyk . 
John Wayte 
Thomas Myldenhale 
John Breggeham 
Hugo Baxter 
John Pemberton . 
Constant Dalby . 
John Paveley 
Thomas Robyns . 
Thomas Juson 
Robert Blackwall 
Thomas Well 
Richard Bishop . 
John Crawford 
John Cleydon 
Richard Strangeways 
Peter Hewett 
Robert Nudde . 
Anthony Froste . 
Philip Hay ward . 
John Hayward 
Thomas Roberts . 
Richard Atkinson 
Henry Trigg 
Thomas Eachard . 
Christopher Reeve 
Joshua Burton 
Martin Johnson . 
Metyer Reynolds 
George Anguish . 
Edward Moore 
Robert Collyer . 
Henry Jodrell 



The King. 

































Estiniatio illius xx marc. Domesday. 

There is a small school in this parish, endowed by the late Rev. Metyer Reynolds, 
and vested in trust with the Rector, and the Archdeacon of Suffolk, for the time 

VOL. I. 

2 i 


BURCHARD held two carucates of land here, for a manor, in the time of Edward the 
Confessor ; which Hugh, the son of Norman, farmed at the Survey, under Earl Hugh. 
It was one leuca in length, and one in breadth, and paid 32 pence, geld. The manor 
had increased in value from 30 shillings to two pounds. There were forty free-men in 
the parish, of whom eleven, under Gurth, and the rest, as tenants of Burchard, held 
three carucates of land. Eight ploughs had been kept in Saxon times, and at the 
Survey there were only five ; but the value of their land had risen from four pounds to 
one hundred shillings. Edcric of Laxfield, a Dane of vast estates in East Anglia, had 
a manor in Kessingland, valued at five shillings, which, being granted to Hugo de 
Montford, that Norman baron raised to eight shillings. There were also four free-men 
here ; one of whom was tenant to the same Edcric, and the other three were tenants 
of Burchard, who together held, in the Confessor's reign, 90 acres of land, with two 
bordars, two ploughs, and an acre of meadow, valued at 10 shillings. This property 
was also granted to Hugo de Montford, and in his hands yielded 22,000 herrings 
annually ; so that the fisheries of Kessingland must have been very productive, or very 
skilfully managed, even so early as the eleventh century. 

The manor of Rothenhall, called in Domesday Book Rodenhall, which now lies in 
Pakefield and Kessingland, is accounted for under the latter parish. It had been the 
lordship of Tored, but at the Survey belonged to Ralph Bainard. It appears to have 
been a small estate. The lord kept but one plough, and the tenants only half an one. 
It had wood sufficient to feed only four swine. In this hamlet, Aslac, a free Saxon, 
held under Burchard 40 acres for a manor, with four bordars. One plough was kept 
on the demesne lands, and half an one by the tenants ; so that it would appear, that 
one plough was employed jointly by the farmers of this and Ralph Bainard's estate. 
Here was wood for only three swine, with one acre and a half of meadow. Its 
Saxon value had been five shillings, which the Norman raised to nine shillings and 600 
herrings. At the Survey, the whole of this estate was held in demesne by Hugo de 

The four manors of Stapletons, Kingstons, Echinghams, and Rothenhall, into which 
this parish was subsequently divided, are now the property of the family of Morse, of 
Norwich, and appear to have descended through the following owners. 


In the thirty-fifth of Henry III., Roger de Montalt held this lordship, and procured 


from that monarch a charter for a fair and market. 1 The former was held on the 20th 
of November, the anniversary of St. Edmund, to whom the church is dedicated; and 
the latter kept weekly, on Tuesdays. It was next the estate of the Stapletons, from 
whom it acquired its name. In the first of Edward IV., 1461, Sir Miles Stapleton 
conveyed the manor of Kessingland to his brother Brian. Sir Miles was Knight of the 
Shire in Parliament, twenty-eighth of Henry VI., and at his death, Sept. 30th, 1466, 
left by his second wife two daughters, his coheiresses, Elizabeth and Joan. 2 Brian 
Stapleton, Gent., was lord in 1528. 3 The manor thence passed through the families of 
Roberts and Smith ; and in 1645, was held by Robert Proctor, Esq. In 1658, Daniel 
Proctor occurs as lord; and Samuel Proctor, in 1721. 4 In 1786, it was the property 
of Jane Denton, the daughter of Bridget Hawes, who was lady of the manor in 1776. 
This Jane Denton married Randal Burroughes, Esq., and thus carried the lordship of 
Stapletons into that family, of which it was purchased by John Morse, Esq., with whose 
heirs it remains. 


was early the estate of William de Euque : from him it passed to the Waburnes and 
Sampsons, and again to Alexander Kingston. Nicholas Hasburgh next occurs as lord : 
from him it went to William Hasker, and in 1645 was, like the manor of Stapletons, 
in the hands of Robert Proctor, Esq. 5 


belonged to the family of Atte Tye, in the reign of Edward III. In 1375, Dionysia, 
widow of Sir Peter Atte Tye, bequeathed to Edward Charles, her son, 100 shillings per 
annum out of her manor here. It was next the lordship of the Echinghams of Barsham, 
in Wangford Hundred, and passed from Sir Edmund Echingham, Knt., to Henry 
Hubbard, Gent., of whom it was obtained in 1645, by Robert Proctor, Esq., the owner 
of the other manors, and passed with them. 


now also the property of Mr. Morse, will be more fully treated under the history of 

William, Lord Monchensy, gave all his lands at Kessingland, with four acres of 
common of pasture there, to Hickling Priory, in Norfolk. 6 

1 Carta 35 Hen. III. memb. 2. a Blomefield. 

3 Jermyn MSS. "Id. 5 Id. 6 Blomefield. 


John Bucknam, by his will, dated Sept. 3, 1598, gave to the poor of Kessingland 
twenty shillings, with lands and tenements, for ever : the rental of which is expended 
upon the repairs of the church, and for the benefit of the poor. 

The market at Kessingland has been long discontinued, but a part of the village, 
near the turnpike-road, is still called the old market-place. A considerable portion of 
the population formerly resided near the beach ; and a piece of ground, known as the 
" Sea Row," was swept away about eight years since by the action of the waves. Two 
wells were then standing, which rose like tunnels in the sand. The sea manor of Mr. 
Peto, as lord of the Hundred of Mutford, extends to the limits of Kessingland beach. 
In 1787, an Act was passed for enclosing the common belonging to this parish, when 
500 acres of land were accordingly enclosed. Upon dividing this land, the proportion 
was five to one : that is, those proprietors of land in Kessingland, who had five acres, 
had one allowed them from the common. At the same time seventeen acres of common 
were reserved for the poor. 7 

In 1777, the number of houses in this parish was forty-five, and that of inhabitants 
250: the latter had increased, according to the census of 1841, to 658. The parish 
contains 1651 acres, 3 roods, 15 perches of land, of which 52 acres, 2 roods, 28 perches, 
arc glebe. The commutation in lieu of tithes amounts to 405. A piece of ground 
near the spot where the old vicarage stood was called the Nunnery. There were, in 
the memory of persons now living, fragments of walls and arches standing here. I do 
not apprehend that any religious foundation ever existed in this parish, except the 
church, and this " nunnery " was so called, I think, simply from having been the 
property, and possibly the grange of the Abbey of Nuns in the Minories, at London, who 
held the great tithes of the parish. There are about forty yards of an old flint wall, by 
the road side, leading from the church to the sea-shore, which, in all likelihood, enclosed 
the farm-yard of the grange. The house near the church, lately inhabited by the family 
of Crowfoot, was the manor-house, 8 and not a chapel, although there was, in the apart- 
ment latterly used as a kitchen, an old window, in which was, not long since, a small 
crucifix in stained glass, with the figures of the Virgin Mary and St. John. 

The Priory of Waborne had formerly interests in this parish, for in the twelfth of 
Henry III., 1228, a fine was levied between Rodland, Prior of Waborne, in Norfolk, 
petent, and William de Meynwaryn, tenent, of 30s. rent at Kessingland, which the 
prior claimed to be given him by the said William, and which he then granted to the 
prior to be held of Roger de Meynwaryn. 9 

The advowson of the church at Kessingland was appended to the manor of 
Stapletons for some centuries, and was presented to by the family of Montalt, as late as 

7 Gillingwater. Martin's Suffolk Papers. 9 Blomefield. 


the year 1324. Sir Robert de Montalt died without issue in 1329, when the Lady 
Emma, his widow, two years afterwards, surrendered, by deed, her estates to Isabell, 
the Queen Dowager, for an annuity of 400. This Queen gave the advowson of 
Kessingland, in 1346, to the Abbey of Nuns in the Minories, at London. 10 She 
seems to have held an interest in the manor, for it was returned at her death, that 
" Isabella nuper regina Anglie tenuit ad terminationem vite sue manor de Kessingland, 
cum ptin: in com: Suff: de rege in cap-, p: servic: j feodi milit." n 

In the same year, 1359, William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, released to the 
Abbess and Minorites, without Aldgate, in London, all his right in the aforesaid 
advowson. 12 The great tithes of Kessingland were accordingly appropriated, and 
remained with the Abbess and Convent till its dissolution by Henry VIII., and con- 
tinued in the Crown till the sixth of James I., when they were granted, inter alia, 
by letters patent, under the Great Seal of England, bearing date the 8th of April, in that 
year, to Francis Philips and Richard Moore, and their heirs. Philips and Moore 
assigned the impropriation to Benedict Campe, who, on the 18th of April, 1635, 
transferred it to Marjant Vymor, who passed it to John Hammond, of Ellingham, Esq. 
Hammond mortgaged it on the 18th of March, 1639, to Robert Snell, sen., of Denton, 
in Norfolk, for 200, to whom it was forfeited. Robert Snell gave it by will to Jane, 
his daughter. On the llth of October, 1662, Thomas Hammond, son and heir of 
John Hammond, upon payment of 30 more, released the right of redemption to 
Robert Snell, jun., the brother of Jane Snell, in trust for her. Robert Snell, son and 
heir of the said Robert Snell, jun., gave an absolute release of all right and interest 
therein to John Barrow, the son of Jane Snell. 13 John Barrow, who was afterwards 
D.D., and Dean of Norwich, assigned the impropriation to William Winston, Vicar of 
Kessingland, for 180. In the parish registers are the following records connected 
with this, and its subsequent transfers. 

" Part of a letter from Mr. Whiston, dated Jan. 3, 1/37. 

" I suppose you know y l y e impropriation of Kessingland was by me bought of Dr. Barrow, y e very- 
worthy dean of Norwich, who not being even then fond of owning church lands, offered it me at what we 
then estimated no more than 8 years purchase : which was a temptation to me to try my friends, and lay 
out some money myself for its purchase. The then Lord Viscount Weymouth, and Dr. Prideaux, as I 
remember, gave me 1 a piece, and bishop Moore 5 ; who were my chief benefactors ; altho Dean 
Barrow, by offering it so very cheap, in order to its restitution to the church, may be well esteemed the 
principal benefactor of all. Bp. Kennett mentions it, in somewhat that he wrote, 14 as a thing I intended 
to settle on the church, when it was in my own power to settle it or not, upon which it has now been long 

10 Rot. Pat. 20 Edw. III. p. 2, m. 29. n Harl. MSS. 708. 

12 Claus. 33 Edw. III. m. 17. 13 Gillingwater. 14 Case of Impropriations, p. 330. 


settled and I am very glad it has been to the advantage of a person, so worthy as yourself. We used to 
reckon it in Mr. Barrow's hands hardly so much as 12 or 14 a year, but y' when it came into y e same 
hand with y e rest of y tythes, it would be nearly of y e value of 20 to him." I5 

" In futuram rei memoriam. 

" The rectory of Kessingland being to be sold about the year 1 698, the Rev. W. Whiston, Vicar of 
Lowestoft and Kessingland, purposed the buying of it, to annex to the vicarage ; and by the charitable 
contributions of well-disposed people raised a considerable sum towards it. But being called away to be 
mathematical professor of the University of Cambridge, and thereby hindered from asking the further 
charities of good men, he laid down the rest of the money, out of his own pocket, and had the rectory 
conveyed to himself; in order to pay himself what moneys he was out of, more than he had collected; 
and that done, to annex it, as is aforesaid, to the vicarage. Mr. Whiston no sooner had the rectory in his 
possession, but he made divers proposals to his successor, Mr. James Smith, vicar of Lowestoft and 
Kessingland, to settle it immediately : but he being pretty much in years, did not care for being out of 
money, which it was so uncertain whether he should live to come into again : and so it continued in 
Mr. Winston's hand till April 6th, A. D. 1709 : and then upon the consideration of .50 to him paid, by 
the worshipful and Rev. Thomas Tanner, clerk, chancellor of the diocese of Norwich ; the said William 
Whiston, by deed indented, granted unto the Right Reverend Father in God, Charles, Lord Bishop of 
Norwich, Thorn : Tanner, chancellor of Norwich, John Moore, of the close of Norwich, Esq., then principal 
register, and John Tanner, vicar of Lowestoft, all that Rectory, with all the tithes, &c. (being in their 
actual possession, by a bargain and sale for one whole year, commencing the day before), to have and to 
hold the said rectory, &c., with all its appurtenances, unto the said Lord Bishop of Norwich, Thomas 
Tanner, John Moore, and John Tanner, their heirs and assignees for ever. In trust, nevertheless, and to 
the intent, that they, their heirs and assigns, do and shall, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, 
permit and suffer the said J. Tanner, being present vicar of Kessingland, to receive and take all the fruits, 
tithes, profits, and emoluments of the said rectory, to his own use and benefit, during his continuance 
there to be vicar there, and afterwards do and shall permit the vicar of the church of Kessingland, for the 
time being, to receive and take all the fruits, tythes, &c., to their several and respective uses, for ever. 
Provided that the actings and receipts of the said J. Tanner, and his successors, vicars of the said church, 
shall be good and sufficient, as well for, as against himself and themselves, and the said Lord Bishop, 
Thomas Tanner, John Moore, and John Tanner, their heirs and assigns, shall be no ways chargeable for 
the same, nor for the fee-farm rent, to be paid out of the said rectory. The 50 laid down by 
Dr. Thomas Tanner were repaid by John Tanner, out of the profits of the rectory. 

(Signed) " J. TANNER, Vicar." 16 

The benefice of Kessingland is, therefore, now a vicarage, endowed with all the 
tithes ; the Bishop being the patron, and the Rev. Dennis George Norris, the present 
incumbent, by whose liberality the preferment has been further augmented in value, by 
the erection of a convenient and substantial parsonage-house, built at his own expense ; 
and by the consolidation of its scattered glebes. 

15 Parish Registers. i Id. 




which is dedicated to St. Edmund, was built by the Convent at the Minories, in 
London, and was an extensive and elegant structure. At the suppression of that 
house it failed to receive the funds heretofore appropriated to its support, and soon fell 
into decay. A noble square tower, full an hundred feet high, and a few fragments 
worked into the walls of the present church, are all that remain to attest its former 
grandeur, if we except some mouldering ruins on its southern side, and its elaborate 

The eight sides of this font are richly ornamented and deeply recessed, and in each 
niche is placed the figure of a saint. In that which faces the body of the church sits a 
figure of St. Edmund, holding the peak of his beard with his right hand. The left 
hand, which formerly grasped an arrow, is now broken off, and the entire font bears 
evident marks of puritanic zeal. Over the centre of the western doorway in the tower, 
St. Edmund is represented in the same attitude; and each spandril of this portal 
exhibits a large figure of an angel waving a thurible. In the cavetto of the arch are St. 
Edmund's crowns, a mitre a wounded heart, emblematic of the agony of the Virgin 
an anchor, allusive of the Christian's hope with an abundance of foliage-work of 
elaborate and elegant design. The tower contains five bells. 


In 1668, the roof of the church was in that ruinous state that the whole of it fell 
in, and divine service was discontinued for many years. In 1693, the inhabitants of 
Kessingland presented a petition to the Bishop of Norwich, in which they stated, that 
in 1668, by the neglect of the then churchwardens, the roof of the parish church 
decayed, and fell down, and that the wood thereof, and the seats, were stolen and carried 
away : that divers of the owners and inhabitants laboured to have it repaired, but were 
overborne by opposition ; and that since that time the town was grown extremely poor, 
and unable to repair the said church : they, therefore, prayed the Bishop to direct such 
methods for rebuilding and repairing it as he should think expedient. In consequence 
of this petition the Bishop appointed Laurence Eachard, of Henstead, Thomas Armstrong, 
and Edward Carlcton, Clerks, commissioners, to inquire into and view the state and 
conditibn of the said church, who reported that the expense of rebuilding and repairing 
would amount to 324. 5s., and that the old lead of this church was then in the 
possession of the inhabitants, and worth 90, which they requested his lordship's leave 
to sell, to defray part of the charge. The Bishop, by a faculty, dated 21st of Dec., 
16'9:3, allowed them to dispose of the old lead, and John Campe, of Kessingland, and 
Thomas Godfrey, of Great Yarmouth, were authorized to sell it, and with the money to 
repair the church. They, in consequence, contracted with tradesmen for the work ; and 
to obtain money sufficient to pay the expenses, they, with the other inhabitants of the 
parish, presented petitions to the justices of the peace, requesting their charitable 
contributions to enable them to go through the work they had undertaken. They also 
petitioned the University of Cambridge. In consequence of these petitions they 
obtained the following sums of money. 

. s. d. 
From the inhabitants of Kessingland, owners . . . 43 6 6 

From the tenants of Kessingland 1246 

Contributions from clergymen 19 12 C 

from the gentry . . . . . . 76 3 9 

The lead sold for 146 16 4 

The total sum received was ...... 342 15 7 

Ditto disbursed 341 16 2 

Balance 1 9 

The before-mentioned commissioners, on the llth of February, 1695, certified that 
the repairs were very fairly executed, and the church seated ; and that the accounts, 
upon examination, were just and fair. 17 

17 MSS. of the late Mr. White, of Kessingland. 


Notwithstanding the statement that the repairs were said to have been fairly 
executed, the roof expanded about the year 1840, and would have again fallen in, had 
not about 60 been expended upon it. There is a memorandum in the parish registers 
which reflects little credit on the zeal or liberality of Edward Carleton, who was inducted 
to the vicarage in 1693, the year in which the restoration of the church was commenced. 
" Edward Carleton, Vicar, did promise sev u times to give five pound toward the 
rebuilding of Kessingland church, and gave not one penny." The church raised by 
Campe is, as may be supposed, a plain unpretending building. 

The balance of 19*. and 5d. in the aforesaid account was expended in hanging the 
great bell. 18 It would seem that the older church had not fallen down, without some 
attempt, on the part of the parishioners, to avert its ruin ; for on the porch is a date of 
"1578, R. B.," which points to a repair at that time executed; and John Baker, of 
Kessingland, by his will, dated on the 14th of August, in the previous year, gives to 
every person attending his funeral Id. ; and leaves to the reparation of the parish 
church 3s. 4?d. The Rev. John Tanner, while Vicar of Kessingland, sold in the 
year 1750, a? much plate of his own property as came to 7. 7s., to which he added 
8 more, with which he bought 

. s. d. 

A silver flagon, which cost 908 

A silver patin 258 

A silver cup 308 

An oaken box to receive them . . 100 

15 7 

All which Mr. Tanner gave to the church at Kessingland, on the 23rd of December, 
1750. The parishioners, thereupon, gave Mr. Tanner 

. *. d. 

The old silver cup, which was valued at . . . 1106 
And the old patin, valued at 1139 


With this money Mr. Tanner bought 

A new bible for the church, which cost . 



The cup Mr. Tanner parted with to Gunton, and the patin to Kirkley. 19 

The old church, which was remarkably spacious, contained several chapels, in which 

18 MSS. of the late Mr. White, of Kessingland. 19 Gillingwater. 

VOL. I. 2 K 


were placed objects of idolatrous worship. In the chancel was the altar of the Virgin, 
whereon stood her image, with a light burning perpetually before it. The images of 
St. John the Baptist, and St. Peter, stood on the south side of the chancel, before which 
were burnt on the 2nd of November, or All Souls Day, candles used in the service 
called Soulemass. There were also in the chancel the chapels of St. John and St. 
Edmund ; and the altar of the Holy Trinity in a part of the church called " Scrowdam." 
There also existed here the gilds of St. John and the Trinity. 20 

Master John Sperling, by will, dated 1460, leaves his body to be buried beneath 
the chancel of St. Edmund's church at Kessingland. 21 

The registers of this parish are said, in the first page, to commence in 1603, but in 
the second page the entries bear the date of 1561. The melancholy fate of a ship- 
wrecked crew is recorded at a later date. "Buried November 27th, 1774, Adam 
Laurie, James Nisbet, Andrew Miller, John Laurie, his wife and four children, whose 
vessel being wrecked, and they having escaped from the fury of the winds and waves, 
and being sheltered under the cliff, were by the earth's falling on them overwhelmed 
with a sudden and unexpected death, on the 24th November, 1774." 

Monuments. Susan, wife of John Crowfoot, died 4 Oct., 1781, aged 34. John 
Crowfoot, died 28 April, 1812, aged 59. Elizabeth, wife of John Crowfoot, died 10 
March, 1832, aged 74. John Cainpe, who rebuilt the church in 1695, died 23rd Nov., 
1699, aged 58, being the last male of his family. Campe bears a chev. between 3 
griffins' heads erased, and impales a fess between 3 annulets. Thomas Cunningham, 
died 27 Nov., 1821, aged 63. 

Mary Pellew, wife of Dennis George Norris, Vicar, died 17 Sept., 1844, aged 43; 
she is buried with four of her children. Edward White, Gent., died 24 Nov., 1831, 
svt. 76. Mary, his widow, died 16 Aug., 1842, set. 92. William White, his brother, 
died Aug. 3, 1842. Sarah, his widow, died 6th Feb., 1843, set, 88. Elizabeth White, 
died 24 Dec., 1774, set. 71. Susanna, wife of D. White, died 18 Oct., 1776, aged 51. 
I). White, died 15 Aug., 1787, aged 63. 


Vic <"-s. Date. Patrons. 

Adam of Doncaster . 1307 Sir Robert Montalt. 

Radulphus le Megre . 1324 Id. 

Galfridus Man 1361 Nomination of the Bishop, and presentation of the 

Abbess and Convent of the Minories, London. 

20 Tanner MSS. pen. Epis. Norwic. 21 j ermyn MSS. 



Vicars. Date. 

Robert of Bernard Castle . 1361 

Henry of Dunston . 

John Salyng, alias Algar . 1394 

Robert Payn . . . 1396 

John Freton . . . 1400 

Richard Smith . . 1437 

William Tybard 

Richard Mannyng . . 1440 

John Spyrling . 

Edmund Causton 

Symon Cross . 

Edmund Wrenn 

Bartholomew Northern 

William Mate . 

Symon Petite . 

William White 

Thomas Corbet 

Francis Yoxley 

Hugo Thomlinson . . . 

William Whight 

John Walden . 

Robert Atwood 

John Vale 

Thomas Winsley . . 1568 

Richard Ling . . . 1574 

John Langley . . . 1626 

Daniel Nichols . . 1630 

Francis Hawes . . 1661 

Thomas Eachard . . 1663 

Edward Carleton . . 1693 

William Whiston . . 1698 

James Smith ... 1702 

John Tanner . . . 1708 

John Arrow . . . 1760 

Robert Potter ... 1789 

Richard Lockwood . . 1804 

Dennis George Norris . 1830 


Nomination of the Bishop, and presentation of the 
Abbess and Convent of the Minories, London. 






























John Corbet, of Sprowston, assig. of Bishop. 

Roger Rugge, p. h. v. 

The Bishop. 



Presentation of the King, and nomination of the 

The King. 
Presentation of the King, and nomination of the 


The Bishop, in full right. 

Estimatur ad xlv marc. 


KIRKLEY occupies the north-eastern angle of the Hundred of Mutford, being bounded 
on the east by the ocean, and on the north by Lake Lothing, an arm, or inlet of which 
runs to the southward, and is known as Kirkley Ham. It probably afforded a very 
secure anchorage to the small vessels of ancient days during the prevalence of eastern 
gales, at the period when the sea entered the lake by a broad unimpeded channel. 

Kirkley was never a place of importance, notwithstanding the ancient assertions of 
the inhabitants of Lowestoft, and is very briefly noticed in Domesday Book : it is 
remarkable, therefore, that it should have given its name to a portion of the adjacent 
ocean, while so near the more populous and wealthy towns of Yarmouth and Lowestoft. 
In the time of Edward the Confessor, the principal estate here was the property of 
Gurth, the brother of Harold, which being forfeited at the Conquest, was retained 
in the hands of the King, under the stewardship of Roger Bigot. Hugo de Montford 
had also a farm in this village, valued by the Saxons at 2s., which he raised to 3*., 
and a payment of two hundred herrings. The smallness of this latter impost proves 
that the fisheries here were then of limited extent. The chief support of this village 
at the present day, as well as that of the contiguous parish of Pakefield, arises from 
this branch of trade, which is considered to have declined of late. 

In the fifty-fifth of Henry III., Alan de Wymundhale obtained a license for a 
market and fair, with free-warren in his demesne lands here ; l and in the fourteenth of 
Edward I., Edmund de Wymundhale claimed the same. 2 The manor was soon after 
transferred to the family of Fastolf, for in 1378, Hugh Fastolf, Esq., granted it, 
with other estates, to John "Fastolf, his brother. In the seventeenth of Henry VII., it 
was the property of John Fastolf, Esq., 3 and went afterwards to Anthony Rouse, Esq., 
who conveyed it to Henry Hobart, of Loddon, Esq. He died in 1560, seized, inter 
alia, of the manor of Kirkley, with the advowson of the church, 4 which latter appears to 
have been previously held by the Norfolk family. In the will of this gentleman, 
proved May 3rd, 1561, the lordship is called the manor of Kirkley Hall, though in the 
Mutford rentals, temp. Henry VIII., it is styled Fastolf s manor. James Hobart, Esq., 
was lord in 1642, and Robert Richmond in 1680. It passed from the Richmonds, by 
marriage, to the Garneys of Hedenham, in Norfolk, and on the extinction of that 
branch of the family, early in the present century, fell by heirship to the Irbys. There 
is now no manor-house. 

1 Rot. Pat. 2 Plac. Cor. an. 1285. 3 Jermyn MSS. 4 Reg. Norwic. Bircham. 


The number of inhabitants amounted, in 1841, to 433, though from an account of 
the parish, taken in 1676, in pursuance of the penal laws then in force against 
religious dissenters, it appears that they then amounted to only 103, from sixteen 
years of age and upwards, of which number eighteen were dissenters. 


which is dedicated to St. Peter, and valued in the King's books at 15. 10s., is, like 
that at Kessingland, a modern erection of nondescript architecture, built out of the 
ruins of a larger and more elegant structure, of which a square tower, about seventy 
feet high, alone remains. It is open to the elements, and contains only one bell, 
of most lugubrious tone. The old church consisted of a nave and north aisle : on the 
site of the former portion is erected the present building. The north wall of this 
is entirely of brick, but the south is composed of the flints and freestone collected 
from the ruins of the older fabric. The old church probably fell into decay about the 
year 1640, for there is the following entry in the Kirkley register books, copied from an 
ecclesiastical visitation record. 

"September 14, 1663. Kirkley. The church there is, and hath been, for more than twenty years 
past, ruinous and in exceeding great decay in the roofs, walls, pillars, pavements, pulpits, seats, and the 
steeple. The charge to the making good all which will amount to 3 or 400 , by common estimation ; 
and the whole revenues of the town are not worth above \00 per year. The ornaments and books are 
wanting. The people resort to Pakefield Church." 

" Mr. Bacon, sen., Mr. Bacon, jun., and Mr. Richardson, who were rectors of Kirkley as well as 
Pakefield, from about the Restoration to A. D. 1/48, read prayers and preached in Pakefield Church, both 
parts of the Lord's day, instead of officiating one part of the day at Pakefield, and the other at Kirkley, 
as they must have done if Kirkley Church had been fit for use : so that the parishioners had then little or 
no disadvantage by the decay of this church, but that of going a little further for divine offices ; but when 
upon Mr. Richardson's decease, in 1748, Mr. North became rector of Pakefield, and as such only thought 
himself obliged to officiate but one part of the Lord's day ; and Mr. Hall, the rector of Kirkley, thought 
himself excused from all publick duty, because the church could not be officiated in ; the parishioners, 
both of Pakefield and Kirkley, soon found great inconveniences from the want of that divine service they 
used to have, and thereupon thought themselves obliged to endeavour to rebuild Kirkley Church. 
Mr. Fowler, merchant in Kirkley, encouraged them greatly, by offering them 20 towards it, tho' he was 
then in a bad state of health, and not likely to live long. Mr. Tanner, of Lowestoft, gave them further 
encouragement, by promising them not less than Mr. Fowler had offered, and all the assistance in his 
power. By his means, several contributions, and a faculty from the bishop for selling the bells towards it, 
were soon obtained; and Mr. Benjamin Ellis, then churchwarden, contributed handsomely; took great 
pains, and was at much trouble, both in soliciting contributions far and near ; putting out the work and 
overlooking the workmen, who began about Lady Day, 1750 : finished the walls, put on the new roof, and 
thatched it before winter. The next spring the seats and inside work was begun, and so far finished, at 
Michaelmas, 1751, that on October 6th, 1751, Mr. Tanner read prayers, and preached in the new church, 



to a very numerous congregation, and there hath been prayers and sermons in it every fortnight in the 
afternoon (except on Sacrament days) ever since. But not unto us, Lord, but unto thy name, be the 
praise, who worketh in us, both to will and to do, of thy good pleasure." ! 

It appears that Mr. Hall, whose unconscientious refusal to perform divine service, 
brought about the rebuilding of Kirkley church, had been long solicited so to do, by 
Mr. Tanner, who was at that time Vicar of Lowestoft, and commissary and official in 
the archdeaconry of Suffolk. This worthy man " failed not to use all the mild and 
persuasive arguments in his power, to prevail on the incumbent of Kirkley to make an 
allowance (to the minister of Pakefield for officiating in his stead), but to no purpose ; 
so that finding him inflexible in his resolution he left him with this threat, ' Sir, if you 
will not officiate in Pakefield church, I will build you a church at Kirkley, and in that 
you si all officiate.' " 6 

I venture to print the following list of contributors to the rebuilding of Kirkley 
church, as it may prove interesting to many of their descendants who are yet resident 
in the neighbourhood. 


In Kirkley and 


. *. 







2 2 


Fowler . 

. 20 

Wigg .... 


Rev. Mr. North 




Bell .... 

1 1 


Ellis, Churchwarden 



. Wright .... 




Edward Mason 




Machin .... 




Collier . 






Thomas Love . 



Ferrier .... 



Aldred . 




Thomas Coniers 




John Wright . 


William Barnard 




James Human 



Thos. Love, jun. 



David Mason . 




James Meen . 



Thomas Munds 




Will. Halsworth 



William Munds 



James Forman 








Robt. Barber . 








John Ayres 




Shelly . 







Joseph Stanford 

Anonymous .... 




Charles Garwood 






Smith . 



William Barber 



John Halsworth 



John Nichols . 



Parish Registers. 

6 Gillingwater, p. 84, note. 



Mr. Robert Nichols 
John Badley . , 

64. 1. 6. 

In Lowest oft. 

Rev. Mr. Tanner gave 

and obtained 
Dr. Tanner, of Iladleigh 
Mr. Thomas Mighclls 
Mrs. Dorothy Mighells . 

,, Grace Symmonds 
Mr. John Peach 
John Jex, Esq. 

Dr. Davy . . . . 
Capt. Richman 
Mr. Mat. Arnold . 

Samson Arnold 

Widow Barry 
Capt. Barlow . 
Mr. Bales . . . . 

Aldous Arnold 

Saml. Barker . 

Capt. Laudifield 
Rev. Mr. Davy 
A friend of his 
Mr. Brown, blacksmith . 
Rev. Mr. Shewell . 

Mr. Belward . 
Mr. Reeve . 

Copping . 


Hayward, jun. 
Widow Soans 
Mrs. Warwick, widow 
Mr. Robt. Barker . 

Saml. Skoulding 

Henry Durrant 

James Curtis . 
Mrs. Long, widow . 
Mr. Saml. Farrer . 

Thomas Smith 
Robt. Francis . 

. s. d. 

2 6 
2 6 


10 10 






1 1 

1 1 

1 1 

1 1 

1 1 














































Mr. John Press 
Charles Bains . 
Samuel Dew 
Seventeen persons, Is. each 
one gave .... 
.100. 3. 6. 


Hewling Luton, Esq. 
Mr. Walker . . . 

Oulton, $-c. 

Rev. Mr. Page, Rector 
Mr. Will. Woodthorpe . 

Thos. Woodthorpe . 

,, John Yonell 

Widow Hunt .... 
Five persons, 1*. each, one Gd. 
Sir Thomas Alliu, Bt. . 
H. Missenden, Esq. 
Rev. Mr. Allen 

Yarmouth, fyc. 

Saml. Killet, Esq. . 
Mr. Thomas Martin 

Thomas Fowler 

,, Milles . . . . 

John Morse 

Dover Colby . 

John Morris 

John Fowler . 
Rev. Mr. Turner . 
Mr. David Mason . 
Another David Mason 
Mr. Ward, Collector 
Capt. Palling 
Mr. William Manning 

Thomas Manning 

Ramey, Attorney 

Eldridge .... 

Pexal Foster . 

John Norfor . 


, John Mason 

. s. d 


1 6 

1 6 



10 6 
1 1 

1 1 
10 G 



2 6 

5 6 

2 2 
1 1 

1 1 
1 1 
1 1 

1 1 

1 1 

10 6 

10 6 

10 6 

10 6 

10 6 

10 6 

10 G 

10 6 

10 6 







Mr. John Crispe . 

Robt. Battley . 

John Reeve 

Timothy Lodge 

Jacob Masters 

John Marsh 
Three persons, 1*. each . 

Goriest on. 

Mr. Jeffery Killet . 
John Killet . 
Rev. Mr. Killet, of Bradwell . 
Mr. Harris, of Burgh Castle . 

Car/ton Colville. 

Mr. Ham. Pearse . 
Mrs. \Velham, widow 
Rev. Mr. Wolmer . 
Mr. Woodthorp 

Guild .... 

Brooks .... 
Widow Shien 
Mr. Middleton 

Widow Critton 
Five persons, 1*. each 


Mr. Woodthorp 
Button .... 
Henry Cheny . 
John Wily 


Saml. Proctor, Esq. 
Mr. Cunningham . 


E. Dun-ant 

Thos. Durrant 

, Colman . 

. s. 


. s. 



Mr. Cooper . 




Adams . 










Brown . 







Harling . . . 



Charles Welsh 



John Burket .... 



Benacre and Wrentham. 

1 1 



Thomas Gooch, Esq. 

1 1 



Mr. Aldus 



Nelson ..... 


Philip Brewster, Esq. 

1 1 

Rev. Mr. Baylie .... 

1 1 

Mr. Bardwell 


6 6 

1 1 

Henstead and Sotterley. 



Mrs. Howes, widow 

1 1 



Miss Bence ..... 



Mr. Lawson ..... 



Miles Barne, Esq. . 

5 5 


Sir John Playters, Bt. . 

2 2 


Rev. Robt. Lemon 




Rev. Mr. Carter, of Worlingham 



Mr. N. Baxter, of N. Cove . 

2 2 



Gibson, of Willingham 



Dalbe, of Mutford . 


Henfiam, Southwold, fyc. 



Sir John Rous, Bt. ... 

2 2 



Rev. Mr. Smears .... 





Mr. Robt. Thompson 





Will. Thompson 



John Thompson 









1 1 

Smith ..... 





Ewen, of Reydon 




Jenny, of Reydon 




Reeve, of Wangford . 




Wilkenson, Att. of Halesworth . 





C. Harling, of Frostenden 





Rev. Justice Page .... 

Mr. Fair 

Schuldham .... 
,, Leman ..... 
Price ..... 
Le Grys ..... 
Crowfoot .... 


Isaac Blowers .... 
Edward Blowers 
James Elmy .... 
Will. Elmy .... 
Will. Bendy . 


Keable .... 
Bilby, glazier .... 
Mrs. Bohun ..... 
Mr. Edward Brook 
Debnam . 
Seven persons, 1*. each . 
Rev. Mr. Morden, of Weston . 
Radcliff, of Ringfield 
Athow, of Gillingham 

Mr. Padnal, of Wheatacre 
Alexander, of Toft Monks "I 
,, John Sayer, of Thurlton J 
Rev. Mr. Tweedy, of Trimley . 
Stebbing, of Nacton . 

Baynes, of Stonham . 

Hewitt, of Bucklesham 

Canning .... 


R. Kingston 

Close .... 
Bishop .... 
Mr. Collet, Attorney, of Woodbridge 


William Windham, Esq. 
Rev. Mr. Baker . . 
Mrs. Baker . ... 
Rev. Mr. Wilson .... 
Mr. Van Camp 
VOL. I. 

;. *. 


. s. 


Mr. Barnham 



i i 

Hen. Williams . 




Nelson .... 




Manning, sen. and jun. 




Cooper .... 



Meen .... 



Prentice .... 



Lamb .... 



Lumley .... 




Mrs. Webster and Son 



Arrowsmith . 








Mr. Schuldham 




Will. Kingsbury 












,, Wiuck .... 





Robt. Williams 





Ashby .... 








Lagden . 



1 1 

Eleven persons, 1*. each . 




Ilketshall St. Laurence 








1 1 

Mr. Chancellor Nash 

2 2 

,, Archdeacon Goodal 

1 1 

1 7 

Counsellor Preston 

1 1 

1 1 

Buckle . 




Mr. Bacon, Apothecary . 




Mrs. Britiffe 


1 1 

Mr. Lindsay, of Trowse . 




John Playters, Esq., of Yelverton 




Rev. Mr. Frost, of Topcroft . 










Rev. Mr. Brooks 


Mr. Coggeshall 

Small sums . 

11 Rev. Mr. Bence, of Kelsale 

10 6 Mrs. Bence, of Saxmundham 

10 6 Rev of Darsham 

10 6 Carter, of Sibton . 

106 Blois, of Yoxford . 



10 6 

10 fi 

10 fi 

10 fi 


2 L 


. . d. 

Mr. Copland, of Yoxford . . 26 

Rev. Mr. Maborn, of Bramfield . 9 

Ellershaw, of Ubbeston . 5 

. a. d. 

Rev. Mr. Foster, of Halesworth . 2 6 

Mr. Sparrow, Attorney, of Woodbridge 9 

275 3 

Received, by sale of the reed that was left . . . 220 
by sale of bells 103 13 6 

Total 380 18 6 


. s. d. 

To Thomas Love, jun., for removing the dirt and rubbish between the old church walls 142 
To Mr. Roxwell, for plans, advice, and assistance, in settling the dimensions and putting 

out the work 550 

To John Halsworth, bricklayer, for work and stuff, as by agreement . . . . 130 9 

more, for additional work . . . . . . 6 10 11 

more, for altering the south windows . . . .600 

more, for altering the floor at the east end . . . 100 

For drawing articles, stamps, &c., relating to Mr. Halsworth's work . . . . 140 

To James Chamberlayne, to roof as per agreement . . . . . . 70 

more, for a treat at putting on the roof . . . .300 

more, for additional work 520 

more, for a loft for the bell, bell-wheel, &c 9156 

For a lattice for the steeple window 180 

To expenses and assistance in buying the reed 40 

To six hundred reed at 2. 8. per hundred 1480 

For carting it from Benacre to the churchyard 4100 

For drink for carters at 1*. per load 120 

For recovering reed when dispersed by a flood 40 

To thatchers, for laying on the reed, broaches, &c. . . . . . . .10172 

To straw for the roof 1 10 

To the glaziers, as per bills and receipt 9140 

To John Wigg, blacksmith, as per bill . . . 7156 

more, by a second bill, for a clapper for the bell, &c. . 598 

To Mr. Bell, joiner, for the desk, pulpit, seats, and communion table . . . 65 7 4 

To Mr. Smyth, joiner, for measuring joiner's work ....... 50 

To Fuller, mason, for repairing the steeple 576 

More, to said Fuller, as by two bills 3156 

To Mr. Lindsey, for lime 120 

To the Chancellor's Office, for a faculty to sell the bells 2 13 4 

To charge for shipping the bells for London 176 

To commission for selling them, and other charges at London 360 

To Mr. Horth, for the greater weight of the bell he delivered, above the weight of the 

bell he had of us 326 


. . 


To the churchwardens of Gillingham for the font .... 

1 1 

For fetching it, and help to load and unload it 


For a lock for the church door 



For a Bible, 2. 2. 0., and folio Common Prayer book, 16*. 

2 18 

For a quarto Common Prayer book for clerk, and Act against Swearing 



2 6 


For pulpit cushion, desk cloth, communion table-carpet, and making . 

. 1 11 


For a silver paten, \. 15. 0., and hard metal pewter flagon, 10s. 

. 2 5 

For a linen cloth, and napkin for the communion table 


Towards making good the church way ...... 

1 1 

Towards Mr. Ellis' expenses in getting contributions .... 

. 2 2 

395 4 


Total receipts 

. 380 18 


Due to balance 

1-1 C 


Which balance was paid by Mr. Tanner, and by him made an addition to his former gift. 

There is also due to Mr. Ellis, churchwarden, about forty shillings expended by him in soliciting 
contributions, more than he had yet received. 

July 2, 1756. Mr. Walford, of Woodbridge, brought 20*. to Mr. Tanner, which he said had been 
some time ago collected towards the rebuilding Kirkley Church, but by some accident retained from being 
sent before. The donors were 

Mr. Carter, Rector of Tunstall . . .5*. 
Briggs, Rector of Alderton ... 5 
Clarke, Minister of Woodbridge . . 5 
Thomas Folkard .... 5 

Ten shillings of which were given to Mr. Ellis, towards what he had disbursed more than he had received, 
and the other ten shillings the said John Tanner kept towards what he had disbursed on account of this 
church, more than he had received. 

On the 5th of December, 1749, when the workmen began to clear away tin- 
rubbish from the ruins of the old church, they discovered, at the distance of eighteen 
feet from the east wall, and six feet from the north, a stone with a brass label thus 
inscribed : 

rate p ala C&ome $U'lle die? nup trtorte &e &frkelep, gut ofciit 10 me 

c _ _ _ 

8uffu$ti %? B, MVXXVj cut ate ppieiet 2Be. 8mett; 

and on another label, found in the north aisle, a like legend for John Boodhurd, who 
died in August, 1486. 

The font of the old church was broken by the falling in of the pile, and the one 
now in use was brought, as we have seen, from a ruinated church at Gillingham. It 



is octangular and plain. The present fabric contains no monumental record. There 
was formerly a rectory in this parish, of which no vestige remains. It was near Kirkley 
bridge, for the second piece of land, mentioned in the perambulation book, is an acre of 
marsh belonging to the Rector, lying next Kirkley bridge, and the fifth piece is that 
whereon the parsonage stood. 7 

The number of acres in the parish amounts to 514, of which 19 acres, and 3 perches, 
are glebes. The living is augmented with 12 acres of land lying in Sprowston, in 
Norfolk, and the amount of its commutation is 137. 10s., exclusive of 5 charged for 
the tithes. 

The earliest resistor bears the date of 1701. It appears by old parish papers that 
the Rector is entitled to a payment in lieu of the tithe of fish caught by the boats of 
this parish, called Christ's half dole. 

Oliver Beneyt, de Gernemuth 

John of Loudham 

John Gerard, of Theberton . 

Thomas dc Marlesford . 

John Tradesham . 

Richard Wetherlee 

John Guerard 

John Catheroo 

Robert Banyngham 

Robert Hay, of Carlton 

William Holden . 

Simon Dolfyn 

Thomas Maundevyle 

John Loft .... 

Robert Anderle, alias Cann . 

John Custance 

Edward Lenney . 

Henry Gert 

John Warmall 

Thomas Mille 


Date. Patrons. 

1308 Will, of Tyvetshall, Clemencia, his wife, and Alice 

of Herryngflet. 

1344 Clemencia, relict of John of Loudham, Knt. 

1349 Abbot and Convent of Leiston. 

1361 The same. 

1382 Margaret Mareschall, Countess of Norfolk. 

1383 The same. 

1416 John, Earl Mareschall and Nottingham. 

The same. 

1421 John Lancaster, Richard Stevesacre, and Robert 

Southwell, Feoffees and General Attorneys, by 
letters patent, of John Moubray, E. Marshal. 

1422 John, Earl Marshal, &c. 

1436 Katherine, Duchess of Norfolk. 

John, Duke of Norfolk. 

1453 John, Viscount Beaumont. 

1469 John Wodevyll. 

1484 John, Duke of Norfolk. 

1489 The Bishop, by lapse. 

1490 The King. 

1505 The Bishop, by lapse. 


Jermyn MSS. 




Henry Geffraye . 
Robert Taylor . 
John Gayton 
Edward Multone . 
Robert Nudde 
John Towne 
Thomas Yeowle . 
William Wyncopp 
William Girling . 
Edward Bonn 
William Hinton . 
William Bacon 
William Bacon 
Philip Richardson 
Charles Hall 
William Temple . 
William Temple . 
Robert Parr 
Robert John Francis 

Date. Patrons. 

1526 Thomas, Duke of Norfolk. 

1539 The same. 

1555 The Bishop, by lapse. 
The same. 

1570 William Roberts, Gent. 

1589 James Hobart, Esq. 

1597 The same. 

1C 13 Edward Hobart, Esq. 

1634 The same. 

1642 James Hobart, Esq. 

1680 Robert Richmond, Gent. 

1697 The same. 

1748 His own petition. 

1770 Charles Garneys, Esq. 

1798 The same. 

1809 Robert Reeve, Gent. 

1812 The same. 

Estimatio ejusdem vij marc. 


VILLAGES, like kingdoms, have their periods of prosperity and decay ; and this now 
obscure parish was of sufficient importance in Saxon days to give its name to the 
Hundred. In the reign of Edward the Confessor, Gurth, the brother of Harold, 
was owner of Mutford, whose tenant, Ulf, held three carucates and a half of land 
for a manor. There were eighteen villeins, six bordars, and sixteen slaves on this 
lordship, but at the Norman Survey the latter were reduced to ten. Four ploughs 
were employed on the demesne lands by the Saxons, but the Normans had only three. 
The manor contained wood for sixty pigs, with six acres of meadow. The Saxon 
farmers had kept three draught horses, but the Normans possessed only two. At the 
Survey there were seven geese, thirty pigs, one hundred and sixty sheep, fifty goats, 
and two apiaries, always valued at sixty shillings. The village was two leucas in 
length, and nine furlongs in breadth, and paid four shillings land-tax. In the same 
parish twelve free-men held under Gurth, three carucates of land with two slaves and 


seven bordars. They had among them nine ploughs, which at the Survey were reduced 
to seven : there were eight acres of meadow, and wood for sixteen pigs. Two churches 
were then standing in the parish, endowed with forty-seven acres of glebe : twelve of 
these were in Mutford, two in Rushmere, two in Gisleham, three in Pakefield, two in 
Kirkley, and the other twenty-six in Mutford. William the Conqueror retained the 
manor as part of the royal demesnes, and appointed Roger Bigot his steward. 1 This 
estate, therefore, appears to have participated in the general depreciation of landed 
property consequent on the Normau invasion, which reduced the value of estates 
in England, at least one-third, on an average, throughout the kingdom. 2 The manor 
of Mutford remained in the Crown till the reign of Henry II., who granted it to 
Balderic de Bosco, or Bois, with a moiety of the Hundred, the patronage of the church, 
the Hundred-court, wreck of sea, view of frank-pledge, with the erection of gallows, 
and tumbrill, feudal privileges of high importance. 3 The manor was held by the 
tenure of paying an annual rent of six marks and a half, under the name of " Alba 
lirma," or white mail. 4 

Upon the death of Balderic de Bosco, his daughter Hildeburga inherited this manor, 
who left two daughters, her coheiresses, of whom, one married Stephen de Long 
Champ, and the other espoused Henry de Vere. Each of these knights held a moiety 
of the lordship in right of his wife. In the reign of King John, Stephen de Long 
Champ joined the party of the discontented Barons, and was slain at the battle of 
Bouvines, fought on the 27th of July, 1214. In the Glaus Rolls is a "precipe" 
of John, dated at Melkesham, in Wiltshire, on the 22nd of September, 1204, directing 
the Sheriff of Suffolk to put this Stephen de Long Champ in possession of the estate at 
Mutford, late de Bosco's, except it should exceed in value 12, but reserving to himself 
the corn then growing on the said lands. 5 In consequence, however, of his having fallen 
in arms against his monarch, Long Champ's estates were forfeited, and on the 27th of 
January, 1221, were granted by Henry III. to one of his favourites. By a deed, dated 
at Westminster on that day, he commands the Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk to give 

1 Domesday Book. Terra Regis. 2 Domesday: passim. 

3 Frank-pledge. Every free-born man of 14 years of age, except religious persons, clerks, knights, 
and their eldest sons, was bound to find security for his fidelity to the King, on pain of imprisonment ; 
whence it became customary for a certain number of neighbours to be bound for one another, to see each 
man of their pledge forthcoming at all times ; or to answer the transgression of any one absenting himself : 
this was called, in the debased Latin of the day, visus franci plegii. 

Tumbrill was an authority to retain in the manor an instrument or engine called a ducking-stool, 
invented for the punishment of scolds and brawling women : obviously now disused. 

4 A payment in contradistinction to black mail ; rendered partly in coin, and partly in goods. 

5 Glaus. A 6 Johan. 


seizen thereof to Walter de Ev mue, to sustain him in the royal service, and during the 
King's pleasure. 6 Henry de Vere, who possessed the other moiety of this manor, left 
an only son, Henry de Vere, who died without issue, so that having no heirs, his share 
also fell to the Crown. The moieties of the manor being thus united were granted, as 
one lordship, in 1234, to Sir Thomas de Hemegrave, or Hengrave, who died in 1254, 
and was succeeded in his estates by Thomas, his grandson. He paid one hundred 
shillings as relief, for his grandfather's lands here. The following inquisition of the 
customs and descent of the manor and half Hundred of Mutford was taken in the reign 
of Edward I. 

" Jurat! dicunt quod in dimidio Hundredo de Mutford duo genera feodorum sunt : vid : unum de 
antique dominico domini regis, quod vocatur Mutford ; alium feodum de feodo Cestrie. Item dicunt quod 
Dom: Henricus Rex, filius Imperatricis tenuit integrum manerium de Mutford, cum omnibus regiis liber- 
tatibus pertinen : manerio de Mutford : et dictus Henricus dedit tribus servientibus suis ; videlicet 
quilibet ipsorum centum solidos annui redditus extra manerium de Mutford, et agnominabantur Luvel, 
Breton, et Francheville, et retinuit regias libertates ; deinde Soka Luvel et Soka Breton sunt in Blithyng, 
et in Wayneford, et quidam pars de Soka Francheville est in dicto dimidio Hundredo de Mutford, et pars 
in Blything, et pars in Wayneford. Dom : Willielmus de Valance tenet Sokam Breton : Abbas de Sancto 
Edmundo tenet Sokam Luvel: Radulphus Muncy tenet Sokam Francheville, et totum residuum dicti 
manerij de Mutford predictus Henricus rex dedit Balderico de Bosco, cum advocationibus ecclesiarum 
cum Hundredo, wrecco maris, visu franci plegii, erectionem furcarum et tumbrellorum, et cum omnibus 
aliis libertatibus pertinentibus ad manerium de Mutford, salvis inde per annum domino Regi sex marcas et 
dimidiam, quod vocatur alba firma ; et solvitur tarn bene de tenementis feocli Cestrie quam de feodo de 
Mutford. Et post mortem dicti Balderici discendit dictum manerium de Mutford de herede in heredem 
usque ad duas filias et heredes, que diviserunt inter se dictum manerium ; et quarum unam Stephanus de 
Longo Campo disponsavit ; et Henricus de Ver disponsavit alteram. 

" Item dicunt quod Stephanus de Longo Campo occisus fuit in prelio de Bonyns, contra Johannem 
regem Anglic, et eadem ratione forisfactus fuit tota purpartia uxoris, et seisata in manu domini Regis. 
Et Henricus Ver, filius Henrici Ver, senioris, qui exivit de altera filia, mortuus sine herede de se procvirato, 
et eadem ratione dominus Henricus rex, pater domini Regis qui mine est, seisivit dictum manerium de 
Mutford. Et post mortem Henrici de Ver, filii Henrici de Ver, senioris, dominus Thome de Hengrave, 
senior, perquisivit manerium de Mutford de domino Henrico rege, patre domini regis Edwardi qui nunc 
est, cum omnibus regiis libertatibus pertinentibus dicto manerio : post mortem dicti Thome de Hengrave, 
senioris, descendit dictum manerium Thome de Hengrave, ut nepoti suo et heredi. Post mortem dicti 
Thome descendit dictum manerium Edmundo de Hengrave, ut filio et heredi, qui nunc tenet de domino 
rege in capite manerium de Mutford, cum omnibus regiis libertatibus pertinentibus dicto manerio ; 
centum quadraginta et tres acras terre arrabilis ; quinquaginta quinq : acras bosci, duas acras prati, tres 
acrns juncarie salvo herbagio communiariorum, qui nunc communiari debent, videlicet in marisco de 
Howbergh, et medietatem omnium transgressionum qui facti sunt in eodem marisco : unum molendinum 
ad ventum, liberam apperendam liberum taurum, et weyf de bestiis extrahuris cum dimidio Hundredo per 
totum dimidium Hundredum, wrecco maris, visu franci plegii, erectionem furcarum et tumbrellorum, 
warenam liberam infra boscum suum clausum in Mutforde, tolnetum de Heyes, salvo medietate Rogeri de 

6 Claus. 5 Hen. III. 


Monte Alto de villa de Kessinglond, fagnadief, advocacionem ecclesie de Mutforde, ad quam ecclesiam 
pertinet viginti quatuor acre terre arrabilis cum uno messuagio de feodo de Mutford per feodum unius 
militis pro se et tenentibus suis subscripts, qui de eo tenent tenementa sua de supradicto feodo et tenentes 
sui ad hoc servicium ei nichel auxiliabant. Pertinentia sunt dicto manerio tria genera tenentium : vid: 
liberi tenentes gersumanni, et sokemanni, et omnes sunt in certo. Item pertinentia sunt ad dictum 
manerium sokemanni operantes in autumpno, et in aliis temporibus anni, quidem illorum arrabunt, si 
conjugaverint et arrura sua ilia allocationibus in eorum operacione per unam septimanam ; sin autem non 
arrabunt et cariabunt domini fenum, si conjugaverint carectam, sin autem non cariabunt, et primo die 
cariacionis manducabunt ad mensam domini semel in die, et dies ilia non est allocanda, ceteri vero dies 
allocandi sunt in eorum operacione; vid: quibus dies pro una septimana. Et quidem illorum debent 
herciari bis per annum per duos dies post prandium per unum equum, si habeant equum, sin autem non 
habcbunt, dabunt unam gallinam ad natale domini, quinque ova ad Pascham, si gallenas habeant ; sin 
autem non, dabunt et quinque garbas ordei in augusto et unum vellus lane, si habeant quinque bidencium, 
vel sr habeant centum bidentes ; sin autem non, dabunt et unam garbam lini si habeant quinque garbas vel 
centum si habeant, sin autem non dabunt. Quidem illorum custodiant latrones, et ducunt apud Gippovicum, 
et ilia custodia et ducia allocabantur in eorum operacioue, et tarn nox quam dies allocabatur : vid : nox et 
dies pro duabus diebus &c. 

"Quidem illorem averabunt apud Gernemouth Donewicum et apud Beclis et allocacit in eorum 
operacione quando vero fecerint Avergium apud Donewicum vel apud Gernemouyt allocatio ei pro seipso 
et pro equo unum diem quando fecerint Averagium apud Beclys tune allocatio tarn pro se et equo unum 
diem (ct si dominus pro eorum operacione argentum habere voluerit tune pro die in Augusto debit 
obolum) et pro die a festo Sancti Miehaelis usque festum Sancti Petri ad vincula unum quadrantem tantum 
Quidem illorum crint prepositi per turnum suum antiquum tenementum et hoc facient dum sint 
prepositi, erunt in grangiis domini et videant ut blada domini intrentur debito modo et erunt ad tritura- 
tionein bladi et ventilacionem et mensuracionem bladi, talliabunt contra servientem manerii, nullam 
vendicionem nee emptionem bladi facient. De carucis et curatis neque de aliis quibuslibet rebus se non 
intromittent. Et postquam blada domini in granario domini per custodem manerii vel per alium ad 
voluntatem domini custodientur et expendentur. Et sic de pisis fab ct avenis quod postquam positi sint 
in granario prepositi de illis nichil se intromittent. Et dum sint prepositi quieti sint de omnimodis 
operacionibus, et quandiu dominus vel familia ibi per manducabunt ad mensam domini. Et prepositi 
eligentur per sokemannos circa festum Sancti Petri ad vincula per turnum at dictum est nullam aliam 
operacionem sic faciet et percipient alios facere. Quidem vero sokemannorum erunt venditores bosci de 
bosco per turnum et electiouem dictorum sokemannorum, et dum sint venditores manducabunt ad 
mensam domini exceptis diebus quibus debent operari et omnes summoniti erunt ad eorum operaeionem die 
precedenti et venient ad eorum operacionem in omni tempore anni ad solis ortum et redibunt ad solis 
occasum. Gersumam vero modo facient isti qui plenas terras tenent si filii eorum sint maritandi veniunt 
ad custodem manerii de Mutford vel ad alium in servitium domiui ibidem inventum et licentiam petent. 
Et sine licentia dederit sine non maritabunt filias suas ubicunq: voluerint. Et si maritati sint ad 
homagium domini tune dabunt gersumam secundem quantitatem eorum tenementi. Ita turn quod 
si tenent plenum socagium dabunt duos solidos, qui plus tenet plus dabit, et qui minus, minus dabit, 
si vero maritati sint ad alios qui non sunt de homagio domini tune dabit qui plenum socagium tenet 
decem solidos pro gersuma, qui dimidium socagium tenet quinque solidos qui plus tenet plus dabit, qui 
minus tenet minus sokemani dabit secundem quantitatem." 7 

7 MSS. Jermyn and Davy, ex cart. orig. 


Sir Edmund de Hengrave, eldest son of Thomas de Hengrave, who died in 1264, 
inherited the manor of Mutford. In 1321, he was Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, and 
Governor of Norwich Castle. He died in the eighth of Edward III., in his 80th year, 
seized of this lordship, 8 and Sir Thomas, his eldest son and heir, aged 40 at his father's 
decease, succeeded. By Isabella, his first wife, he had Sir Edmund de Hengrave, his 
heir, and Beatrix, who married Sir Robert de Thorpe of Ashwelthorpe, in Norfolk, 
whose descendants eventually became possessed of Mutford. Sir Thomas died in 1349, 
and was succeeded by Sir Edmund de Hengrave, who was one of the Knights returned 
to Parliament for Norfolk and Suffolk, in the forty-sixth of Edward III. He married, 
first, Joan, cousin and heiress of James de Cockfield, and, secondly, Alice, daughter of 
John de Insula, on whom he settled the manor of Mutford. In her will, dated in 1401, 
she calls herself " Dame de Mutford," and bequeaths 40 shillings to the high altar of 
the church there : 6' and 8 d to the lights of Our Lady; and 40 shillings to the reparation 
of the belfry. Her husband's will is dated in 1379, in which he gives certain move- 
ables and effects, then in his house at Mutford, to Alice, his wife, who seems to have 
resided there after his decease, till her second marriage with Sir Richard Wychingham, 
of Witchingham, in Norfolk. This Sir Richard held the manor of Mutford during the 
life of the said Alice, but the reversion of the same after her death being settled on the 
right heirs of Sir Edmund de Hengrave, Sir Thomas, his surviving son and heir, 
inherited it. By his marriage he had issue Edmund de Hengrave, on whom his father 
entailed this lordship and a moiety of the Hundred, in 1414 ; but this son dying shortly 
afterwards, without issue, Sir Thomas vested his estates in trust, for sale ; the produce 
to be applied to charitable purposes. He died in 1419, and bequeathed for the repa- 
ration of the chancel of Mutford church one hundred shillings, and towards the repairs 
of the body of the church twenty shillings, and to the parson six shillings and eight 
pence, and to twenty-four of his poor tenants there forty shillings. These bequests he 
makes for the good of his soul ; for the soul of Joan, his mother, who lay buried there, 
and for the souls of all the faithful departed. 

His widow, Joanna, married, shortly after his death, Richard Vewetree, of Burnham 
Westgate, in Norfolk, and died in 1421. Before her decease she solemnly revoked her 
will, devising the manor of Mutford, &c., having executed it by constraint, and under 
the influence. of her second husband. Upon the extinction of the family of Hengrave, 
in the person of Sir Thomas, their estates descended to the Thorpes of Ashwelthorpe, in 
Norfolk, in right of Beatrix de Hengrave, who married Sir Robert Thorpe, as before 
shown ; but the manor of Mutford seems to have escheated to the Crown. 

In the ninth of Richard II., Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, had a grant of 

8 Harl. MSS. 708. 

VOL. I. 2 M 


various manors and estates in Suffolk; 25th January, nineteenth of Henry VII., 
Edmund de la Pole was attainted of treason, whereupon, amongst others, the manor 
of Mutford came to the hands of the Crown, and by grant of 15th June, first of 
Henry VIII., the said manor, with others, was granted to Edward Jernyngham, Esq., 
and Mary his wife, which grant they afterwards surrendered into Chancery, and there- 
upon, 28th January, second of Henry VIII., the same manors and estates were granted 
to the said Edward Jernyngham and wife, and the heirs of their bodies : these were 
afterwards sold by Henry Jernegan, and Henry Jernegan his son, to Thomas and 
Christopher Hirne, and by letters patent, 28th October, fifth of James I., the King, on 
the petition of the Earl of Montgomery, granted the reversion of the said manors, &c., to 
hold to Clement Hirnc and his heirs by fealty only and an annual rent. A sale was 
afterwards made by Sir Thomas Hirne, Knt., to Sir John Heveningham, Knt., and 
Dame Bridget his wife ; and this sale was confirmed by Act of Parliament, seventh of 
James I. William Heveningham, son of the said Sir John, being one of the judges 
of King Charles, committed high treason, and was attainted by Act of Parliament, 
whereby his manors, &c., became forfeited to the Crown, and by letters patent, 28th 
September, thirteenth of Charles II., the King granted the said manors, &c., to Bryan 
Viscount Cullen and others. These grantees were trustees for Lady Mary Heveningham ; 
and in 1G7S, Sir Thomas Allin, Knt., purchased these estates, from whom they 
eventually came to the Anguishes, and passed to the present possessor, Samuel Morton 
Peto, Esq. 

There appears to have been a family of some consideration in their day, which took 
their name from this village ; for in 1329, Sir John de Mutford, one of the judges in the 
Common Pleas, in the reign of Edward II., of the knightly family of the Mutfords of 
Mutford, in Suffolk, was buried in the cathedral of Norwich. 9 

A winding stream of water, which rises in the parish of St. Laurence Ilketshall, 
enters this parish at a point called Ellough Bridge. It thence proceeds in a south- 
easterly direction, and falls into the ocean at Benacre sluice, forming the boundary line 
between the Hundreds of Mutford and Blything. It was probably a much more 
considerable stream in ancient days, as Holingshed notices it in his rivers of England. 
" Willingham water commeth by Hensted, Einsted, or Enistate, and falleth into the sea 
by south of Kesland." In the meadows around Mutford Hall, old trees are occasionally 
found in the soil, which rise, at uncertain intervals, to the surface ; and which must 
have been deposited there by violent floods, centuries ago. These, by retarding 
the rapidity of succeeding inundations, have caused the stream to precipitate an earthy 
deposit, which by a sure but imperceptible action has raised the bed of the channel, 
and gradually covered it with a firm and fertile herbage. 

9 Blomefield. 

. , ^. 

' ,,-"*** 


Alfred Suckling del 

F. Bedford, I.itho London 

London, John Weale, 184-6. 

PrmLtd. In ,\tanJidft i C? 


Mutford Hall stands near the edge of the marshes on a rising ground, and is now 
converted into a farm-house. It seems to have been built late in Elizabeth's reign. 
Many of its old chimneys remain unaltered, but the front is completely modernized. It 
contains some good sized, but low apartments, and is now the property of Mr. Gilbert, 
of Thorpe, near Norwich, who bought it of the late Mr. Dowson, of Geldeston, in Norfolk. 

There is also an ancient house in this parish, standing within a moated site, which 
now belongs to the Rev. Charles Clarke, of Hulver. It is as old as the hall, though it 
was never a house of equal pretensions, and appears to have formed only two sides of a 
quadrangle. It was bought by the father of the present possessor, of the daughters 
of Mr. Fox, of Worlingham, who held it in right of Elizabeth Smallpeece, his wife, 
whose family obtained it of George Watts, Gent., who was owner of it, and probably 
resided there in 1692. Mr. Watts bore for arms, enn. on a chief gules an annulet 
between two billets or. He married Elizabeth Lone, from whose family he seems 
to have obtained this estate, and died in 1710, aged 53 years, and lies buried in 
the chancel of Mutford church. 

Robert Brewster, of Mutford, held lands in this parish and in Henstead, prior to the 
reign of Henry VI., which lands were afterwards in the possession of William Brewster, 
of Henstead, and Robert Brewster, of Rushmere. This was a branch of the very 
ancient family of the Brewsters of Wrentham, in Blything Hundred. 


which is dedicated to St. Andrew, was a rectory till the middle of the fourteenth 
century, when the advowson was purchased of Sir Edmund de Hengrave by the society 
of Gonville Hall, now Cains College, in Cambridge. Its revenues were appropriated to 
that establishment, by the sanction of William Bateman, Bishop of Norwich, on the 
17th of June, 1354. The Hall, as patron, was bound to present two clerks to the 
Bishop, who was to choose one of them as Vicar. The vicarage was to be worth 
10 marks per annum, and taxed at 5 marks. A pension of 20 shillings was reserved 
to the Bishop in lieu of first fruits. 10 The license for the appropriation is registered in 
the Patent Rolls. 11 

The first endowment of Gonville Hall was the three ecclesiastical benefices of 
Mutford, Wilton, and Fouldon ; the patronage of which three churches, with their 
glebes, and the pensions, the Hall bought with their own money of Sir Edmund de 
Hengrave, Knt., and Hugh de Chintriaco, Prior of Lewes. 12 They were all three of the 
yearly value of 28. In 1393, Richard Powle, Vicar of Mutford, gave to Gonville 

10 Lib. instit. Norwic. " Rot. Pat. 28 Ed. III., p. 1, m. 14. 12 Blomefield. 


Hall twelve acres of land, in Fouldon in Norfolk. 13 His name, however, does not 
occur in the list of institutions to the benefice. In 1540, Thomas Atkyns, Vicar of 
this parish, and Margery Hare, of the same town, gave 48 apiece to Gonville Hall, 
to purchase lands of the yearly value of 4. 14 Lands were accordingly bought in 
Coolinge, in this county, and Catlidge, in Cambridgeshire. 

Mr. Atkyns' donation to the same establishment of lands in Worhngham has 
been mentioned at page 106. In the account of the yearly rents paid in money 
to the Master and Fellows of Caius College, is the following item. " The tythes 
of Mutford and Barnaby, in Suffolk, with the glebes. Money-rent 4. 11s. Corn- 
rent, wheat, six quarters : malt, half a quarter, purchased by the college." 15 

The fabric of the church was originally raised in Norman times ; very possibly by 
Balderic de Bosco, or Hildeburga, his daughter ; and a very ancient circular arch in the 
north wall of the nave, the face of which is ornamented with a chevron moulding, 
points out the burial-place of the founder. In its present condition it comprises a nave, 
chancel, and south aisle. At the west end of the former stands a lofty circular tower, 
to which is attached a large penitential porch or galilee. This appendage, now a roof- 
less ruin, seems to have been built somewhat later than the tower, as the masonry of 
their respective walls is not united. It is, I believe, the only example of such an erection 
in the county of Suffolk, although in early ages there was always a galilee attached to 
every church in which public penitents were stationed, and the bodies of the dead 
occasionally deposited before interment. At the cathedrals of Durham and Ely are 
splendid examples of the galilee. The name is supposed to have been appended to these 
extreme porches, because, as Galilee was the part of Palestine most remote from 
Jerusalem, so this portion of the building was most distant from the sanctuary. 

The remains of strong foundation-walls would lead us to infer that the old Norman 
chancel extended further eastward than the present elegant erection, the beautiful 
window of which is in the style of Edward the First's reign. The peaked gable in 
which this is inserted still bears aloft a cross of stone, and beneath the window sill is 
an arcade of panelled flint-work. This facade may be ascribed to the family of 
Hengrave, whose donations to the repairs of Mutford church and chancel have been 
already noticed. The aisle once extended further eastward by a single arch, and 
appears to have been used as a private chapel. Before the Reformation, the church 
contained the gild of St. John Baptist, and the lights of St. Mary, and the Holy Trinity, 
so that one, or perhaps all, of these saints had altars here. In 1401, Dame de Mutford, 
widow of Sir Edmund de Hengrave, gave by will 6s. 8d. to the lights of Our Lady, in 
Mutford church ; 40s. to the high altar, and the same sum to the repairing of the 

13 Bloraefield. " Id. "> MSS. Jermyn and Davy, from Ives' select papers. 



belfry. The architectural features of this church are very plain in the interior, though 
the chancel arch is good. The columns of the nave are octangular, and remarkably 
slender : they sustain four pointed arches. The octagonal font, which is now despoiled 
of its ancient sculptures, was the gift of Dame Elizabeth, the wife of Sir Thomas de 
Hengrave, who lived in the -reign of Richard II. and his successor. In the tower are 
three bells. 

The East Window, Mutford Church. 

There are the remains of a good screen, which was probably destroyed in the days 
of puritanic zeal, for the church of Mutford did not escape the visitation of Will. 

" Mutford, April 8th. We brake down nine superstitious pictures, and gave order 
to take up nine superstitious inscriptions of Jesus ; two crosses on the steeple, and the 
steps to be levelled." 

Monuments. The Norman arch in the wall of the nave, which, probably, covers the 
remains of the founder, has been already mentioned. There is also an ancient floor-stone 
in the chancel, once decorated with a cross flory and circumscription in brass, which 
have been forcibly removed. It doubtless contained one of the "nine superstitious 
inscriptions" so offensive to Dowsing. Mr. Charles Hacon, died Sept. 6, 1699, aged 
28 years. Hacon bears sab. 2 barrulets vairy arg. and vert, in chief, a martlet between 


two plates. The family of Hacon is of very great antiquity, claiming a Danish origin, 
and their possessions in this part of Suffolk were considerable at the time of the 
Domesday Survey, wherein the name is of frequent occurrence. 

Mary, first the wife of Robert Bell, and after the wife of Tolmache Castell, died 
2 May, 1653. 

On a small brass plate in the nave is this legend : Robert Langley, died 23 June, 

Maria, wife of James Palmer, of Gt. Yarmouth, merchant, died 21 Jan., 1824, 
aged 48. 

William Temple, D.D., Rector of Kirkley, and formerly Fellow of Corpus Christi 
College, Cambridge, died 24 Jan., 1809, aged 74. 

Dr. Temple resided at a good mansion in this village, called North wood Place. 

George Watts, Gent., died in 1710, aged 53 years. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Thomas de Siiddon . . 1327 Sir Edmund de Hengrave. 

Hen: fil: Edm: de Pakenham 1342 Sir Thomas de Hengrave. 

John Ilcrlaud, dc Kimburle . 1349 Sir Edmund de Ilengrave. 


v 'cars. Date. Patrons. 

John Herland, de Kimburle . 1354 Master, &c. of Goriville Hall. 

Thomas Burgers . . 13G'l Id. 

Walter Spyllewynd . . 1377 u. 

Peter of Weston . . . 1388 Id. 

Robert Kypping . 1395 Id. 

Hugo Myngs . 1396 Id. 

William Wardeboys . . 1403 Id. 

Richard Egate . . . 1407 Id. 

John Derham . . . 1428 Id. 

Richard Halyfax . . . 1429 Id. 

Nicholas Henley . . . 1441 Id. 

Thomas Atte Ash . 1444 Bishop, by lapse. 

Thomas Rokesby 1450 Master, &c. of Gonville Hall. 

Thomas Wode . . . 1452 Id. 

John Tumour . . . 1460 Id. 

Jac. Cobald . . . 1405 Id. 
John Steyn 

William Huntone . . 1480 Id. 




Richard Toley . 
John Pory . 
Thomas Atkin 
John Raymond . 
Thomas Atkyns . 
John Lamb 
Richard Fletcher 
John Beaumond . 
John Beaumond . 
Thomas Skottow 
William Crow 
Thomas Cook 
Thomas Randall . 
Henry Howard 
John Hill . 
Joshua Burton 
Christopher Smear 
Thomas Nichols . 
William Bond . 
William Okes 

Date. Patrons. 

1505 Master, &c. of Gonville Hall. 

1512 Id. 

1528 Id. 

1543 Id. 

1583 Id. 

1583 The King, by lapse. 

1C 10 The Master, &c. of Caius College. 

1C13 Id. 

1(533 Id. 

1663 Id. 

1675 Id. 

1CS1 Id. 

1701 Id. 

1730 Id. 

1781 Id. 

1789 Id. 

1832 Id. 

Estimatio ejusdem xxij marc. 

The population of Mutford amounted to 415 souls in 1S41. 


situated on a bold cliff, is constantly suffering from the encroachments of the German 
Oeean. In Domesday Book it is written Pagefella, and Gurth held an estate here with 
a mediety of the church and 16 acres and a half of glebe land, valued at five shillings. 
This was granted, at the Conquest, to Earl Hugh, but is not recorded as a manor. 
The lordship is called Rodenhall, and was the property of Tored. In the reign 
of Henry III., Edmund de Wymundhale had free-warren in his lands in Pakefield, but 
it does not appear that he held the manor ; and Henry de Colville had wreck of sea 
here in the twenty-first year of the same King's reign. In the reign of Edward II., the 
manor of Rodenhall, or Rothenhall, was held by John de Rothenhall, and in 1419 
it was returned that John de Rothenhall held this lordship, at the day of his death, 


of the King, as of his honour of Chester, by the service of an eighth part of a knight's 
fee, and Thomas Rothenhall was his son and heir. This Thomas had a sister 
Elizabeth, and both being minors at the time of their father's death, the manor of 
Rothenhall escheated to the Crown in 1427, or the following year, apparently on their 

"Medietas Mm vocat Rothenhall cum pten in com: Suff: tarn p mortem Johis Rothenhall, quam 
raceme minoris etat Thome, fil: et hered: pdci Johis Rothenhall, et Eliz: sororis et hered: ejusd: Thome, 
ad manus R. devenerunt. Quod quidem maner: integrum tenet r de R. ut de Hon: Cestr: p servic: 
quarti partis unius feod: Mil: quodque Anna soror pdci Johis Rothenhall est heres pdce Elizahethe, et 
etatis xxi annor." l 

There appears considerable intricacy in the preceding record, but it is evident that 
all the parties mentioned therein were dead, or had disposed of their interests in 
Pakefield, within a few years after its date; for Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Philip 
Branch, Knt., and widow of John Clere, Esq., of Ormesby, in Norfolk, but who 
afterwards married the aforesaid Sir John Rothenhall, by her will dated on the 16th of 
October, 1438, and proved on the 9th of July, 1441, gave to Robert Clere, her 
son, all her goods at Castor, and her manor of Horninghall there ; and Henstead, 
Rothenhall and Claydon manors in Suffolk ; to him, his heirs and assigns for ever, 
after the payment of her debts, &c. 2 The lordship appears to have been shortly after in 
the possession of Thomas Bardolph, Esq., who, with Alice his wife, presented to 
the Rothenhall mediety of the church in 1445. Upon the death of this Thomas 
Bardolph, Alice, his widow, re-married to John Southwell, Esq. In the thirty-second or 
thirty-third of Henry VI., William Bonds, who was probably a trustee or executor, 
conveyed the manor of Rothenhall in Pakefield, to John Southwell, and this Alice, his 
wife. 3 Southwell, however, had presented to the church in 1451, which was two years 
previous- to this conveyance. In the twenty-ninth of the same King's reign, John 
Southwell represented the borough of Lewes in Parliament, and resided at Barham 
Hall, in Suffolk. 

In the thirty-sixth of Henry VIII. the manor was parcel of the possessions of the 
college or hospital of Herringby, in Norfolk, and was granted, under the Privy Seal, 
on the 13th of April, in the same year, to William Woodhouse, of Waxham, Knt. 
It then paid 22s. 4j?. per annum to the college. 4 In 1645, it was conveyed by 
William Tasker to Robert Proctor, Esq., 5 from whom its descent has been traced under 
Kessingland, in which parish part of the lordship lies. 

1 Esch. 6 Hen. VI. 2 Blomefield. MSS. Jermyn and Davy, &c. 3 Blomefield. 

4 Id. 5 MSS. Jermyn and Davy. 



was anciently the lordship of Sawale Trysth, and afterwards belonged to the family of 
Drayton. Thomas de Dray ton left a daughter, who married John Pye, from whom the 
manor was called. It was next held by William Jenney, Esq., and in the seventeenth 
of Henry VII. was the estate of Edmund Jenney. In the twentieth of Henry VIII. it 
was held by Henry Hobart, Gent. ; and in the thirty-third of the same reign by James 
Hobart. In 1560, it belonged to Henry Hobart, Esq., by whose family it seems to 
have been united with Gisleham. 6 The abuttals of land mention the manors of 
Pakefield and Kirkley, but there does not appear to be any manor called Pakefield ; 
and the manor of Kirkley was formerly called Fastolfs. 7 

The old manor-house at Pakefield, which belongs to the heirs of Mr. Morse, as lord 
of Rothenhall, stands between the turnpike-road and the sea. It is now occupied as a 
farm-house, but preserves much of its ancient character. There were formerly three 
projecting gables in its front, though only two now remain. Some windows which face 
the north retain their original glazing and ponderous lead-work. 

The manor of Broomholin, now the property of Samuel Morton Peto, Esq., extends 
into this parish. There Was formerly much common land in this vicinity, which is now 
enclosed. In Pakefield were 109 acres, and in the adjoining village of Gisleham 
the wastes included 233 acres, as appears by an old award in the parish chest, dated 
August 2nd, 1799. The tithes of Pakefield are fixed at 205 per annum, and 
the Rector has 15 acres and a half of glebe in Pakefield, and one acre in Mutford. 
The population in 1841 amounted to 495 souls. 

Maria Selling, of Topcroft, in the county of Norfolk, by will, dated the 2nd of 
April, 1687, left the following bequest to the parish. "A rent charge of twenty 
shillings per annum on her lands, lying in Pakefield, to be paid quarterly into the 
hands of the overseers of the said parish, to be distributed at their discretion to 
the poor of the said parish ; and in case of the non-payment of the said sum of twenty 
shillings, or any part thereof, in manner and form as aforesaid, it shall be lawful 
for the overseers to enter into all and singular the lands and premises aforesaid, 
and intended to be chargeable with the said sum, and to take the issues and profits 
thereof until they be, and shall be satisfied and paid all said arrears of the said rent, 
together with their and every and their costs and charges thereon." 

Notwithstanding the power of entry devised to the overseers of Pakefield by the 
above will, the annual charge has not been paid for the last six or seven years. 

Mrs. Dodd, who died in 1814, devised, by her will, so much money as would 

6 MSS. Jermyn and Davy. 7 Id. 

VOL. I. 2 N 


purchase 5 a year, interest, to be invested in the public funds, and that the same 
should be equally divided annually at Pakefield church to ten poor aged persons, of the 
parishes of Pakefield ahd Kirkley, not under sixty years of age, and who should be in 
the habit of frequenting their parish churches every Sunday, except prevented by 
sickness or bodily infirmity. 

The rectory of Pakefield was in medieties from a period before the Norman 
Conquest, 8 each mediety having its patron, who presented to his portion upon every 
vacancy in succession, and not in alternate patronage ; so that there were two rectories, 
and two incumbents in one parish church. This continued to be the case till about the 
year 1645, after which date one rector was instituted to both medieties by the two 
patrons, and was considered as holding two benefices. But on the 30th of June, 1743, 
Thomas Gooch, then Bishop of Norwich, consolidated these medieties upon the petition 
of Sir John Playters, Bart., and Edward North, Clerk, the patrons of the advowsons of 
the two medieties, subscribed by the churchwardens, overseers, and principal inhabitants 
of the parish. The petitioners prayed his lordship, "that in order for the more 
comfortable and better support of a future rector, and the enabling the keeping of 
hospitality, one mediety of the said rectory of the parish church of Pakefield might be 
consolidated to the other mediety of the same church in future, for the taking place on, 
or upon the first vacancy happening of the same, or either of them, by any ways 
or means soever from thenceforward for ever." To this petition the Bishop replies 
that, " Whereas we are informed that till very lately the same clerk hath been presented 
to both medieties, ever since the year 1645, by reason whereof no good account can 
now be given, how either the glebes, tythes, and other ecclesiastical dues, or the duties 
of the cure, were divided between the two rectors, so that the present rectors are 
at a loss to know their distinct rights and duties, and the parishioners are at a loss to 
know what share of their dues they are to pay to the rectors of either mediety, 
and which rector they are to call upon to visit them when sick, to baptise their children, 
and bury their dead; and whereas we are further informed that the fruits, tythes, 
profits, and other the ecclesiastical emoluments belonging to both the said medieties of 
Pakefield are but of the yearly value of 50, which is too insufficient for the proper 
maintenance of two clerks, according to the decency of the clerical order, and the 
enabling and keeping hospitality, we therefore, &c., consolidate and incorporate for 
ever, the two separate medieties, &c., into one whole and entire rectory. Sir John 
Playters, and his heirs, to have the first alternate presentation after the decease of 
Philip Richardson, and Edward North, or the survivor of them; and afterwards the 
said Edward North, his heirs and assigns, to present. Provided always that all 

8 Domesday Book. 



the buildings now belonging to the said two medieties be in all future times kept up, 
and sufficiently repaired." 

By deed, dated the 5th of August, 1772, John North, of Benacre, in the county of 
Suffolk, B. A., then resident at Geneva, sold the next right of presentation, and the 
advowson of his mediety, to ' Robert Neslin, of Wheatacre All Saints, in Norfolk, 
for 180. 

Mr. Neslin presented to the consolidated medieties in 1780; but in 1798, Robert 
Sparrow, and George William Paddon, Esquires, were patrons, and had the alternate 
patronage. The right of the latter gentleman, however, seems to have fallen, by 
purchase, or otherwise, to Robert Sparrow, Esq., as we find the aforesaid deed of sale 
to Neslin, and all other papers relating to the consolidation of the medieties, among the 
archives of the Earl of Gosford. 

The parsonage-house, mentioned in the preceding deeds, stands on the north side of 
the church-yard, and is a very ancient but mean building of stone. 


which was evidently erected for the equal accommodation of two congregations, 
consists of two portions or aisles, of similar architecture and dimensions, divided by 
a range of seven pointed arches, resting on octangular pillars, finished with plain 
moulded capitals. Each portion had its separate altar, raised on a flight of steps, 
beneath which was a charnel-house, common to both medieties, and formerly entered 
from without, though now approached by stairs beneath a trap-door in the northern 
aisle. A screen of elaborate workmanship extended through both portions of the 
edifice, of which the lower compartments remain : these are painted alternately scarlet 
and green, and diapered with ornaments of foliage, the colours of which are still fresh 
and effective. Stairs in the north and south walls gave access to the respective rood- 
lofts. There is a square tower at the south-west end of the church, constructed with 
very massive walls, in which hang four bells. 

Some niches in the walls of the interior were opened about twenty years since, and 
found to contain fresco paintings in the same vivid style as the screens. One, on the 
south side, exhibits the figures of the Virgin and Christ. Stone seats for the con- 
gregation are carried across the face of the western wall, as may be frequently seen in 
our older churches. 

There is a fine octangular font of stone, sculptured with the emblems of the four 
Evangelists, and which, from its position, seems to have served at the sacrament of 
baptism for both medieties. It was covered, till very lately, by a wooden model of the 
upper portion of the tower and spire of Norwich Cathedral, which is now removed to 


the vestry. This model is about seven feet high, and was made by an ingenious 
inhabitant of the parish about seventy years since. The condition of the church is neat 
and reputable, and owes much of this to the liberality of Dr. Leman, a late incumbent, 
who new-floored and repaired it at his own expense, and erected the present pulpit, 
which is said to have superseded one of very ancient and elaborate workmanship. 9 

In the east window of the north aisle are the arms of Sparrow, in modern stained 
glass, as represented on the accompanying engraving: arg. 3 roses and a chief gules. 
There is a small piscina, and a seat for an ecclesiastic, without any canopy. 

There seems to be some uncertainty as to the dedication of the church. In the list 
of institutions, preserved in the record-office of the Bishop of Norwich, the incumbents 
" in parte australi," or the southern aisle, are inducted to Pakefiekl All Saints, while the 
north aisle is simply styled " Pakefield altera medietas." It is probable, however, that 
this portion of the church was dedicated to St. Margaret, as Gillingwater mentions an 
old communion cup, now no longer to be heard of, which bore the inscription of 

He tells us it had also the date of 1367, which was more probably 1507. The 
communion cup and stand in present use were " the gift of Robert Leman, M. A., 
I 709." The following character of this excellent man is inserted in the parish registers. 
" Sept. 8th, 1779. Died, at his seat at Wingfield Castle, the Rev. Dr. Leman, Rector 
of the medieties of Pakefield, Vicar of Mendham, and Curate of Carlton Colville, 
in Suffolk. lie was an admired preacher, and a strenuous assertor of the rites and 
ceremonies of the church of which he was so bright an ornament, and indefatigable in 
every part of the pastoral office." 

" Rogerus Borell, Ecclie de Pakefeld, 6' die Oct: A Dni 1384, condidit test: suum apud Henyngham, 
rt legat corpus suum sepeliend : in ecclia Sci Botolphi, in Henyngham : legat Thome Burch, nepti suo 
diversa." I0 

Pakefield registry begins in 1080. 

Monuments. Against the east wall of the south aisle is a very pleasing brass effigy 
of Richard Folcard, Rector of the mediety "in parte australi," who died in 1451. 
His hands are conjoined in prayer, and from his mouth proceeds a label, on which 
is written in Latin, " I will celebrate the mercies of my God for ever." 

On a large stone, now placed upright against the north wall, are figures in brass, 
commemorating John Bowff or Bowfe, his wife and eleven children. The circum- 
scription is in the English language, and appears very curious ; but as the stone laid 

9 Gillingwater. 10 Will Book, Norwich. 

t lacet magiTttrJUitaa jMcarte quoniaHertar wiffietate 
i' ecdu m parte mittraii qui uhit m dteiaigartmt mjrate' 
2litn0 bm filter SftSaHi-Sums ammr jpioefaur k ? amm g 

Alfred Suckling'.del'- 


London, JohnWeale, 1846. 




originally on the floor, it became much worn by the feet of successive congregations, 
and is in part defective. John Bowff died, if my reading of the figures can be relied 
on, in 1417 ; he was probably the father of Robert Boof, who, with John Brown, and 
Thomas Bonde, presented to the mediety of Pakefield All Saints in 1421. As near as 
I can decipher the legend, it may be given as follows : 

901 3tl)\il toe foen tofortur ne tofcen map no man ken 
35ut <o& abobe 

jfor otfcer toe tar l)en srinil toe far ful pore anto bar 
sep.ii 3o!)it Botof. 

Philip Richardson, fifty-one years Rector of Pakefield and Kirkley, died Oct. 8tli, 
1748, aged 82. In preaching constant, in life exemplary. 

Anne Cunningham, widow of John Cunningham, Esq., of Clapham, in Surrey, died 
August llth, 1819, aged Co years. The tablet to her memory was erected by her two 
sons, John William Cunningham, Vicar of Harrow, and Francis Cunningham, Rector 
of this parish, in gratitude for her unceasing solicitude for the welfare of their souls 
and bodies. 

Elizabeth, wife of M. M. Wotton, died 26th December, 1776, aged :>2 years. 
Also, M. M. Wotton, Gent., died 27th December, 1820, aged 74 years. 


Rectors. Date. 
Peter de Rothenall .... 

Sequest: med: com: Tho: de Drayton . 1308 
Continuatio sequest : eidcm usq : ad Tri : 

S: Petri ad vine: .... 1309 

Sequest: med: Joi de Rothenhall . 1311 

Joes de Rothenhall . . . 1311 

Robert Testard, de Gavesford . 1313 

Joes le Man, de Mutford . . . 1316 

Joes de Rothenhall ... 1349 

Will: de South Birlingham . . 1349 

Robert Graunt 1392 

Thomas Hatfeld .... 1409 

Robert. Graunt 1411 

John Gerveys 1421 

Richard Folcard .... 1445 

Thomas Rokesby . . . . 1451 
William Fryston .... 


Petronilla de Dravton. 

Peter, fil: Lewalli de Rothenhall. 

Peter de Rothenhall. 


Joes, fil: Pet: de Rothenhall. 


Lewall: de Rothenhall, de Pakefield. 

Geo: Leuthorp et Thos: Grymesby. 

Rich: Witherley et Will: Pyke. 

John Toke et Will : Brown. 

John Brown, Robert Boof, et Thos : Bonde. 

Thos. Bardolph, Esq., and Alice his wife. 

John Southwell, Esq. 





Thos. Warde .... 


William Jenney, Esq. 

Edward Jenney ..... 


Edmund Jenney, Esq. 

William Hunter .... 

Edward Jenney 



Robert Hunter 



William Stcphenson .... 

Arthur Frythe 


Henry Hubbard, Esq. 

Henry Harryson .... 



John Gavton ..... 



Robert Xudde ..... 


Henry Hobart, Esq. 

John Towne ..... 


Thomas Playters, Esq. 

John Deunce ..... 

Bishop, by lapse. 

William Wvncoppe .... 


William Playters, Esq. 

Thomas Yeowle .... 


James Hobart, Esq. 

James Wadsworth .... 



Richard Sadlington .... 


William Hannam. 

John Edwards ..... 


William Bell. 

Edward Barnes ..... 

William Bacon ..... 

1 (545 

Rich d . Newson, exec r . of Nath 1 . Roe, elk. 

William Bacon ..... 


Sarah Bacon. 

Philip Richardson .... 


Daniel Procter, Esq. 

In tliis mediety a light was burnt 

before the 

image of Our Lady. 






Thomas de Drayton .... 


Christiana, relict of Henry Berry. 

Thomas de Spvnev .... 


Hugo de Berry. 

Joes fil: Willi, fil: Stephani de Brom, 

juxta Bnngav .... 



William Colevill .... 



Hcnrv de Fordham .... 


Edmund Bern-. 

Joes Cressy, de Hupton 



William Fesaunt .... 


Alicia Berry. 

Alanus Miller ..... 



Roger Borell, de Hedingham 


Bad. rel. Edm. Berry, of Tuddenham. 

Galfridus Elvard .... 



Robert Graunt ..... 

Henry Graunt, of Shadingfield . 


William, son of Sebball Rothenhall, of 


Thomas Bretlond .... 


John Tymperley and Henry Bredfield. 

William Fryston .... 


William Jenney. 

John Crawford 


Thomas Aslack, Esq. 




Simon Petytt . 
John Ibbe 
Augustine Thirkill 
William Wyncoppe 
Richard Sadlington 
William Girlinge 
Edward Bonn . 
William Bacon . 
William Bacon . 
Edward North . 

Robert Lenian . 
George Paddon . 
Richard Turner . 
Francis Cunningham . 



Population of Pakefield in 1841, 495. 


Bishop, by lapse. 
William Kelslake, Esq. 
Thomas Playters, Esq. 
The Queen. 
William Hannam. 
Martin Girlinge, sen. 
Sir Thomas Playters. 
Sir William Playters. 
Lionel Playters. 
The King, for this turn, by death, cession, 

or otherwise by lapse of time. 
William Leman, Gent. 
Robert Neslin, Gent. 
Robert Sparrow, Esq. 

RUSHMERE is so called from its low swampy site, which in early times produced an 
abundance of reeds and rushes. Draining, and modern improvements in agriculture, 
have rendered it a fertile tract, and converted the mere, which probably embraced the 
southern half of the village, into sound meadow-land ; so that the ox now fattens on the 
spot which formerly nourished only the slimy eel. In Domesday Book its name 
is written Riscemara, when it was the estate of Hugo de Montford, and was valued 
at 5 shillings and 300 herrings. The Earl held the whole in his own hands, with 
a fourth part of the church, to which belonged eight acres of glebe, valued at 1 6 pence. 
The King and the Earl divided the soc. It had been the property of Gurth. Four of 
the inhabitants testified at the Hundred Court that William de Doai was seized 
of it at the time of his banishment, and that afterwards Earl Hugh held it ; though at 
the Survey, Hugo de Montford was lord : but they asserted that the latter did not 
possess this manor by livery, or legal transfer ; and they further declared that the said 
Walter held it of De Montford. Another estate in this parish belonged, in the time of 
the Confessor, to Gurth, and was held by Aluric, his tenant, as a manor. It was 


granted at the Conquest to Earl Hugh, who raised its value from 5 to 10 shil- 
lings. 1 

In 1263, Thomas de Latemer had free-warren in his lands at Ilketshall, Kessing- 
londe, and Rissemere ; but he does not appear to have held the manor here, which 
seems to have followed in the same descent as Mutford, and to have had its manorial 
business transacted at the same courts ; for in an old court-roll for the latter lordship it 
is thus recorded: "Mutford. The generall Courte there, holden the Thursday next 
after Michaelmas, A.D. 1092. At this court the lord granted, in charity to the poor 
inhabitants of the town of Rushmer, one piece of waste, whereon a house was then 
lately built, and inhabited by Margaret Manner; to Thomas Barnet, the younger, 
Isaac Kenn, John Thurston, and Francis Mawfry, for the use of y e said Margaret 
Hamicr, as long as she should live, and after her decease for the relief of the poor 
of the paiish, by the yearly rent of 4 pence, as by the courte books it doth more 
at large; appear." The lordship is now the property of Mr. Peto, but may be considered 
as little more than a reputed manor. 

The entire parish contains 759 acres, 3 roods, I perch of land, of which 10 acres, 
2 roods, and lo perches, are glebes. The commutation in lieu of tithes is fixed 
at 212 per annum, including the rent charge of the glebes. A new parsonage-house, 
of red brick, has been lately built by the Rev. Thomas William Irby, the present 
incumbent. In 1841, the population of Rushmere amounted to 134 souls. 

In the twenty-ninth of Edward I., the priory of Petrcston gave to that of West- 
acre, a messuage, and the moiety of a carucate of land at Rushmere, in Suffolk, in 
exchange for a messuage and a moiety of a carucate in Egmcre, Norfolk. 2 St. Mary's 
College, in Baily-end, Thctford, had divers lands and revenues in Gisleham and 
Rushmere, and the adjoining towns, which after the Dissolution continued in the Crown 
till the twenty-ninth of Elizabeth, and were then granted by that Queen to Edward 
VVymark, Gent., and his heirs, to be held by the rent of 3s. and 4d. per annum. 3 

Rushmere Hall occupies a low situation in the meadows at the south of the village : 
it is a good substantial farm-house, about two hundred years old, but has been much 
modified in later days. It is now the property of the Rev. G. F. Barlow, of Burgh, 
near Woodbridge, and was purchased by him of John Lee Farr, Esq., about the year 
1820. The Farrs bought it of the Tyrrells of Gipping, in Essex. It possesses a fine 
old staircase, on the wall of which hangs an ancient picture of our Saviour, formerly in 
the possession of the Playters family, at Sotterley. It is in a hard dry style, of 
no value as a painting, but is noticed as a fragment of the wreck of an old and 
honourable house. This picture was injured in the year 1 843 by a flash of lightning, 

1 Domesday Book. 3 Blomefield. 3 Id. 


which entered a chimney of the house, and, running along a bell-wire, passed behind 
the painting, the canvass of which it split, without doing further mischief. 


at Rushmere is dedicated to St. Michael, and is a mean and dilapidated fabric, com- 
prising a nave and chancel only, covered with thatch. Its interior, however, is neat, 
and decently kept. In it may be observed a niche, formerly used as a receptacle 
for the processional crosses of popish worship ; an excellent octangular font, in good 
preservation ; a small Easter sepulchre ; part of an old screen, and some benches 
of rather unusual patterns, in a neglected and rotten condition. The tower, which is 
circular, and contains two bells, is remarkable for the internal construction of its 
masonry, which consists of a mixture of flint and bricks; the latter measure on an 
average about ten inches by one and three quarters. The windows, as is invariably 
the case where this mixed masonry is used in the circular towers of Norfolk and Suffolk, 
are all in the pointed style. 

There are some old floor-stones in the church, the empty matrices of which bespeak 
former spoliation, but no modern memorials occur. 

In. 1508, John Hokyr, Rector, was buried in the chancel before the image of 
St. Michael. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Kentigein de Welyngton . . 1328 Lady Clemencia of Biskele. 

Kentigein de Welyngton . . 1,330 Alicia of Welyngton, p. h. v. 

Roger de Cravene . . . 1318 Dns Ric: of Biskele. 

Alexander Grym, de Beckles . 131!) Laurence Monk. 

Guido Crakedooh . . . 13GC John Ulvestou, Miles. 

John Grey .... 1375 John, Rector of Bergh. 

Thomas Chamberleyn . . 1402 Stephen Bastwick. 

Thomas Porter of Bungay . 1421 Margery, relict of John Argentein, Esq. 

Thomas Gurnay . . . 143.5 Walter Aslack, Esq., and Margery his wife. 

Hugo Cley .... 1446 Walter Aslack. 

William Dubston . . . 1450 William Alington, Esq. 

Walter Speer .... 14G6 Feoffees of John Alington. 

John Morse . . . . 1467 John Sellyng, Esq. 

Thomas Snayth . . . 1471 John Alington, Esq. 

Robert Provet . . . 1479 Id. 

John Hokyr . . . . 1497 Gilbert Talbot, mil: ratione custodie Egidij filii, 

et her: Will: Alington, mil. 
John Claydon .... 

VOL. I. 2 O 




Thomas Bedyngfeld 
John Galte 
John Went 
Richard Fletcher 
Robert Nohe . 
Thomas Allyn 
John Beaumond 
William Hodgkin . ' . 
Thomas Spurdance . 
Jos. Feline 
Laurence Eacliard . 
John Carter . 
Thomas Prettyman . 
William Bell Barker 
Samuel Summers Column 
Thomas William Irhv 

Date. Patrons. 

1516 Margery Hubbard, vidua. 

1532 Henry Hubbard. 

1543 Id. 

1549 Id. 

1554 Id. 

1563 James Hobart, Esq. 

1581 Bishop, by lapse. 

1610 James Hobart, Esq. 

James Hobart, of Mendham, Esq. 


Timothy Stampe. 

Richmond Garneys, Esq. 

Robt. Barker, Gent., p. h. v. 

Charles Garneys, Esq. 

Lord Boston, and Frederick William Irby, Esq. 

Estimatur ad xii marc. 


There were in this church, before the Reformation, the light of St. Mary, the altar of 
St. John, and the guild of St. John. 

Hugo de Montford held a small estate in this, or one of the adjoining villages, 
called Wimundahal, valued in the time of the Confessor at 2 shillings, but at the 
Survey rated at 3 shillings and 500 herrings. 





^<"OTHINGLAND is called in Domesday Book the Half Hundred of Ludingaland, and 
was returned as the King's Estate. It appears to have formed a portion of the 
Hundred of Ludinga, which was afterwards termed the Half Hundred of Mutford. 1 
Lothingland continued to be considered as a Half Hundred only till the year 1763, 
w ^ en it was incorporated with the Mutford division as the Hundred of Mutford and 
Lothingland. It lies in the Archdeaconry of Suffolk, and gives name to a Deanery 
which embraces all the incorporated parishes ; and in judicial affairs is comprehended in the Beccles 
division. It forms the north-eastern point of the county of Suffolk, and extends about ten miles in length, 
though its greatest breadth does not exceed five. It varies much in soil, but must be considered, on the 
whole, as a fertile district. 

It is bounded on the east by the German Ocean, against whose encroachments it opposes a bold range 
of cliffs, except for about three miles towards the north, where it is separated from the sea by a narrow 
peninsula of sand, called Yarmouth Denes, and by the River Yare, which mingles with the waters of the 
ocean at Gorleston. On the north, this Hundred is encompassed by Breydon, a salt-water lake, now the 
shallow basin of the once impetuous Gar. The navigable River Waveney washes its western side with its 
winding tides, while Oulton Broad and Lake Lothing form its southern boundary ; which, uniting with 
the ocean near Lowestoft, insulate the district. 

This insular character of Lothingland, which it possessed from the remotest period of history, was 
destroyed in the early part of the last century by the action of the tides, and the fury of the eastern gales, 
which "play the tyrant" on the coasts of East Anglia. Their combined agency raised a barrier of sand 
and pebbles about a quarter of a mile wide, across the ancient mouth of Lake Lothing, by which all 
communication between the sea and the river was interrupted. Occasionally, at high tides, the sea broke 
over this barrier, as if desirous to regain its former dominion. The last irruption which happened at this 
place occurred on the 14th of December, 1717, when the sea forced its way over the beach with such 
irresistible violence as to carry away Mutford Bridge at the distance of two miles from the shore. To 
guard, however, against future damages, a breakwater was erected between Lowestoft and Kirkley, which 
effectually resisted all subsequent attacks of the ocean, and across which the mail-coach road from 
Yarmouth to London was formed. Lothingland thus continued a peninsula till the year 1831, when, in 

1 The parishes in the Half Hundred of Mutford were accounted for under this division of Ludinga, 
and not under the Half Hundred of Ludingaland, as stated in page 233. 


pursuance of an Act of Parliament obtained to transport sea-borne vessels to Norwich by Lake Lothing, a 
navigable cut was made through the recently formed isthmus, and Lothingland became once more an 
island. Strong lock-gates were placed at the inner extremity of this cut, to prevent the too impetuous 
entry of the tides, if danger should be apprehended, and barriers of a like description erected at Mutford 
Bridge, where there is a dam of earth, which forms a causeway of communication between the opposite 
shores, and divides the Lake from Oulton Broad. The flow of the tide is permanently resisted here, which 
is not suffered to pass the lock, as the port of Yarmouth claims the flood and the ebb in Oulton Broad 
and the Waveney. 

At an inquisition, held at Lowcstoft, in 1845, before Joseph Hume, Esq., M.P., Chairman of the 
Royal Tidal Harbours Commissioners, it was shown by Mr. Hodges, Engineer of the Lowestoft Harbour, 
that the difference between the water on one side and on the other of Mutford Lock was sometimes seven 
feet, in consequence of the land floods. On the Lothing side, during high water, the tide is four feet 
higher than the water in Oulton. The tide which flows into Oulton Broad by the Waveney, from 
Yarmouth, is four hours and a half later than the tide in Lake Lothing. 

The fee of the Hundred continued in the Crown as a Royal demesne, from the time of the Conquest 
to the reign of Henry III. By the latter monarch it was granted to John Baliol and the Countess 
Devprgill, his wife, and passed to John Baliol, King of Scotland ; but upon this King's renouncing his 
homage to Edward I., this, and all his English estates, became forfeited to the Crown. By Edward I. 
the fee of the Hundred was granted, in 130G, to John de Dreux, Earl of Richmond, his sister's son. 
John de Dreux, nephew and heir of the former Earl, died in 1341, in possession of it; and in 13/6 it 
appears to have been held by the Earl of Surrey. It next passed into the hands of Michael de la Pole, 
Earl of Suffolk, whose descendant, Edmund dc la Pole, lost it by attainder of High Treason, in the reign 
of Henry VIII., when it was regranted by that monarch to Edmund Jernegan, Esq., and Mary his wife, 
and subsequently passed, as the Hundred of Mutford, through the families of Allin and Anguish, to its 
present possessor, Samuel Morton Peto, Esq. 

In 1.">G1, the island of Lothingland returned the following list of freeholders: Laystoft, 16; 
Gunton, 2; Belton, 4; Bradwell, 1; Borowcastell, 4; Somerleyton, 7; Heringfleet, 4; Ffritton, 3; 
Gorleston, 6; Hopton, 1; Lound, 2; Blundeston, 10; Corton, 6; Ashby, 2. 2 Francis Jessup, of 
Beccles, was appointed Will. Dowsing's substitute for " Lethcrgland and Bungay." 

The coast line of Lothingland has suffered very considerable changes within the last few centuries ; 
for the village of Newton, recorded in Domesday, and lying contiguous to Corton, has been entirely swept 
away, with a portion of the latter parish ; whilst the point, or Ness, at Lowestoft, has been gradually 
extending itself into the sea. It was lately shown, before Mr. Hume and the Tidal Harbours 
Commissioners, that this point had extended 132 yards eastward since the year 1825. 

2 Lansdowne MSS. 



Lothingland now contains sixteen parishes, of which Lowestoft is the only market town, and four 





Burgh Castle. 
















or Haskeby, lies near the centre of the island of Lothingland, and contains 1045 acres. 
It is not recorded by name in Domesday, though its Danish appellation of By implies 
an early appropriation. 

In the fifty-third of Henry III. it was the lordship of Sir John de Askby or 
Ashby, who granted to Alice Bond common in her lands there, and Jeffery, his 
son, gave and granted certain lands to hold of himself and his heirs, with right 
of commonage in all his commons in Ashby. In the twentieth of Edward I. a 
difference arose between Jeffery, the son, and Sir John de Askby, and Robert, &c., 
about a fold-course erected in Ashby, without leave, and a concord was made that 
for half a mark Jeffery should grant to Robert, and his heirs, free-foldage in all his 
lands in Ashby. 

Another indenture of concord is recorded in old deeds relating to the manor, between 
John de Askby, and William de Askby, for a release, &c., and a grant of common, and 
acquittance of incroachment, &c., in the common of Ashby. In the reign of Edward II., 
the manor of Ashby was held by the family of Inglose, of Loddon Inglose, in Norfolk ; 
John de Inglose presenting to the church in 1312. He was succeeded by Sir Robert 
do Inglose, who, in the eighth of Edward III., granted one piece of land in Askby, 
with free-foldage, &c. This knight was probably the Robert Englisse or Inglosse 
mentioned by Wcever as buried in Lowestoft church in 1365, though this date of his 
death must be inaccurate, as Joan, his ivido/c, enjoyed his interests here in 1361. 
Henry Inglose, who next held Ashby, served in the wars of France ; and in the third of 
Henry V., 1414, preferred a libel, in the court of the Earl Marshal of England, against 
Sir John Tiptoft, who had retained him with sixteen lances, and several archers, and 
refused to pay him. And so he, the said Henry, declared that he was ready, by 
the help of God and St. George, to prove against the said Sir John, body to body, as 
the law and custom of arms required in that behalf. In 1421, being then a knight, he 
was taken prisoner at the battle of Bauge le Vieil, where the Duke of Clarence was 
slain ; and in the fifth of Henry VI., being proxy for Sir John Fastolf, was installed a 
Knight of the Garter for him. He bore for arms, barry of six, argent and azure ; on a 
canton of the first, five billets saltire-wise, sable. Sir Henry married Ann, the daughter 
and heiress of Robert Gyney, of Haverland, in Norfolk, and, in her right, inherited that 
manor. By his will, dated June 20th, 1451, he devised his manors of Dilharn, 


Loddon, &c., to Henry, his son and heir. 1 Robert Inglose, his second son, obtained 
the manor of Ashby, to the church of which he presented in 1458. He left a daughter 
Catharine, who married Richard Blundevile, or Blomevile, and who appear to have 
enjoyed the lordship of Ashby; for in the sixth of Henry VIII. there was a fine 
between Edward Jerningham> Esq., Thomas Wyndham, Knt., Thomas Brewys, Esq., 
and John Scott, complainants, and Ralph Blomvyle, and Constantia his wife, de- 
forcients, of the manor of Ashby, with the appurtenances, and one messuage, 40 acres 
of land, 6 of meadow, 6 of pasture, 40 of briery, and 8 shillings rent in Ashby, 
and also the advowson of the church. Edward Jerningham, who purchased this 
manor, was succeeded by John Jerningham, who in the seventeenth of Queen 
Elizabeth's reign devised the fish-house in Ashby, and two ponds, lying on the east 
part of the house; and the whord, called the old whord, belonging to the manor 
of Ashby, and all those several waters lying in Ashby, and called Fritton Fen. In the 
nineteenth of the same reign, he demised to one Godfrey, all that his fowling, liberty 
and royalty of fowling upon the water of Ashby, and upon the common of the town of 
Ashby, rendering one hundred couple of teals, and two couple of mallards, yearly. In 
the following year he demised certain premises in Ashby, excepting hunting, hawking, 
fishing, fowling, and all other royalties. In the twenty-ninth of Elizabeth, John 
Wentworth, Gent., purchased the manors of Ashby, Gorton, and Newton, with the 
appurtenances, and 4 messuages, 3 gardens, 50 acres of land, 20 of meadow, 40 of 
pasture, 10 of wood, 200 of furze and heath, 10 of marsh, 10 of alder, 40 shillings 
rent, and free-foldage in Ashby, Gorton, Newton, Oulton, Lowestoft, and Hopton, and 
also the advowson of the church of Ashby. In 1619, John Wentworth died seized of 
this estate, and in 1064, Thomas Garneys, Esq., his grand-nephew, was lord. Sir 
Thomas Allin purchased it of him in 1672, from whose descendants it passed to 
the family of Anguish, and by inheritance to Lord Osborne, and from him, by sale, to 
Samuel Morton Peto, Esq., in 1844. 

About the fifteenth of Charles I., a bill was filed in the Exchequer by William 
Heveningham, Esq., then lord of the two Half Hundreds of Mutford and Lothingland, 
and other manors, complainant, against Sir John Wentworth, Knt., and others, 
defendants. It appears from interrogatories administered to the witnesses, who were 
examined by the Commissioners on the part of the plaintiff, that it was alleged " that 
the commons and wastes of the towns and hamlets of Somerleyton, Ashby, Blundeston, 
Flixton, Gorton, Newton, and Belton, were parcel of the Half Hundred of Lothingland, 
and that offences and wrongs on such commons and wastes had been always punished 
in the courts of the Half Hundred. That there had been always kept several courts 

1 Blomefield. 


and leets for the Half Hundred, except Lound, and that the suitors were charged 
to inquire and present all wrongs within the commons and wastes in the Half Hundred, 
as well those in Somerleyton, Ashby, Fritton, Gorton, Belton, Blundeston, Flixton, and 
Newton, as in the other towns ; and that suitors out of all those towns were sworn 
upon juries. That the complainant was seized of the Half Hundreds of Mutford 
and Lothingland, and the manors of Gorleston, Lowestoft, alias Leystoft, and manors 
and seignories of East Leet, West Leet, North Leet, and South Leet, in the Half 
Hundred of Lothingland, and the manor of Lound, in the said Half Hundred ; and 
also the manor of Mutford in the Half Hundred of Mutford : that the lords thereof 
had the suits and services belonging to them of the other manors of Somerleyton, Ashby, 
Blundeston, Flixton, Gorton, Newton, and Belton. That complainant was owner of all 
the wastes, commons and waste-grounds, waters, becks, and fishings within the wastes 
and commons in the Half Hundred, and had presentments for wrongful com- 
monages, &c., on the wastes, &c., of Somerleyton, Ashby, Fritton, Gorton, Belton, 
Blundeston, Flixton, and Newton, which were punished in the courts of the Half 
Hundred. That the complainant, and the former owners of the Half Hundred, except 
Lound, had been reputed owners of the soil of the commons, &c., and had waifs 
and cstrays in the Half Hundred, as well as in Somerleyton, Ashby, Fritton, Gorton, 
Melton, Blundeston, Flixton, and Newton, as the other towns, and had a right to have 
a warren upon the said wastes, and liberty of fowling, hawking, and hunting, &c. 
That some of the jurors mentioned in the court-rolls of the' complainant's Half Hundreds 
and manors had been owners of such manors as the defendants then sued in Somer- 
leyton, Ashby, Fritton, Gorton, Belton, Blundeston, Flixton, and Newton, and were 
chief tenants of the courts of the Half Hundred. That Ashby Common had been 
lately enclosed by Sir John Wentworth, or his father: that it had been formerly 
common, and part of the waste of the Half Hundred. That the great water, called 
Ashby Water, was also common, belonging to the Half Hundred; and that the 
fish-house was built there by -- Jerningham, whilst owner of the Half Hundred, &c. 
And that Sir John was tenant to the complainant, and held his manors, lands, and 
tenements in the Half Hundred, and in the towns of Somerleyton, Ashby, Flixton, 
Gorton, Belton, Blundeston, and Newton, of the complainant. That there had been a 
trial at the assizes for the county of Suffolk, between Robert Jettor, Gent., and Sir 
John Wentworth, concerning the common pasture of Flixton, whereof Sir John claimed 
the soil, and that Jettor had attempted to prove that complainant's father, Sir John 
Heveningham, in right of his Half Hundred, was lord thereof." 

Depositions of witnesses were taken at the Falcon at Beccles, 24th of March, 
fifteenth of Charles I., before Henry North, Richard Catelyn, and Thomas Brooks, 
Gents.; and at the King's Arms, in St. Olave's, 31st of August, sixteenth of 


Charles I., before Sir Philip Parker, Knt., Richard Catelyn, Esq., and Thomas 
Brooke, Gent. 

On the part of the complainant, John Hagon deposed, that offences on the wastes 
and commons of Somerleyton, Ashby, Blundeston, Flixton, Gorton, Newton, and 
Belton, in the Half Hundred of Lothingland, were punished at Gorleston court. 

John Maplestone deposed, that the wastes of Somerleyton, Ashby, Blundeston, 
Flixton, Gorton, and Belton, were parcel of the Half Hundred. That offences com- 
mitted on the commons of Oulton, Blundeston, and Flixton, were presented in the 
courts of South Leet. And of North Leet, East Leet, and West Leet, for trespasses 
committed on the commons and wastes of Somerleyton, Ashby, Gorton, Belton, and 
Leistoffe. That the four leets have been kept for the Half Hundred, except Lound, in 
Shrove week, and in the first week in Lent, yearly. That the Sheriff's term for the 
Half Hundred was held twice each year at Lowestoft. The court for the Half 
Hundred, once a year, called Chicfers Court ; and one other yearly, called Court of 
Ancient Demesne, and that suitors from all the above towns attended and presented 
offences. That the Half Hundred, except Lound, was holden in fee-farm. That Sir 
John Wentworth, and the lords of the manor of Blundeston and Fritton, and the 
master and fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford, owners of Hobland Hall and Caldcot 
Hall, in Bradwell and Fritton, and all other owners of manors in the Half Hundred, 
paid suit-fines to the complainant, but knows not if for the manor or lands. That 
presentments were made in South Leet and Sheriff's terms for the Half Hundred for 
wrongful fishings in the common water called Leistoffe Water. That complainant's 
bailiffs had taken up estrays which were seized at Leistoffe. Knew the common 
of Ashby, but not what quantity was enclosed by John Wentworth, Esq.: that the 
fish-house was then standing : that Sir John Wentworth was tenant to complainant ; 
and witness, as chiefer, did collect of debt-rent for his manor of Lawney in Flixton ; 
and that at a trial between R. Jettor, plaintiff, and Sir John Wentworth, and others, 
defendants, about common in Flixton, next Blundeston Water, plaintiff attempted 
to prove Sir John Heveningham was lord of the Half Hundred and soil : does not 
know how their question was determined, but that verdict was for R. Jettor. 

Thomas Lambe deposed, that Ashby Common had been enclosed thirty-eight years 
then since, by John Wentworth, Esq., and before that had been used as a common, 
and reputed as such, and to belong to the Half Hundred, or some manor of the 
complainant. It is to be collected from the interrogatories administered to the 
witnesses who were examined by the commissioners, on the part of the defendants, 
that Sir John Wentworth contended that the soils and wastes of the towns and manors 
of Somerleyton, Heringfleet, Ashby, Blundeston, Flixton, Gorton, Newton, Hopton, 
Gapton, Belton, Caldcot Hall, and Fritton, in the Half Hundred, belonged to the 
VOL. i. 2 P 


lords of the manors within those towns ; and that the lords thereof had felled trees, and 
cut the sweepage on the commons. That the respective lords of the said manors had 
granted to the tenants, rights of commonage upon the wastes. 

On the part of the defendants, Bartholomew Speer deposed, that John Went- 
worth, Esq., father of the defendant, about forty years before, being lord of the manor 
of Ashby, having purchased all the tenements in the said town, did enclose forty acres 
on Ashby warren, and ploughed, sowed, and reaped the same, and ever since quietly 
enjoyed. That Mr. Wentworth, Sir John Wentworth, and John Jerningham, Esq., the 
former lords of Ashby, fished and fowled in Ashby water. 

Other witnesses deposed, that Sir John Wentworth had a warrener's lodge, a 
warren of conies, and a whord, or hold, for fish. That Sir John Wentworth was lord 
of the manors of Somerleyton, Flixton, Gorton, and Newton, Gapton and Ashby, and 
of the soils and commons thereof -. that offences committed thereon were presented and 
punished in the courts of such manors. 

George Townc deposed, that forty years before, John Wentworth, Esq., lord of 
the manors of Somerleyton and Ashby, enclosed lands in Ashby, then used as a 
common, and that it had thence remained enclosed, and that the greatest part of 
the same had been twenty-four years then since, ploughed and sowed. That defendant 
always exercised the sole privilege of fishing and fowling on the water in Ashby, 
without interruption : that the waste had always been used as a warren, and that 
a warrener's lodge, and the whord, or hold for fish, and fish-house, belonged to 

Edward Hacon deposed, that forty or fifty acres of the heath, called Ashby 
Common, were enclosed twenty years before by John Wentworth, Esq., the lord 
of Somerleyton and Ashby, he having purchased all the tenements in Ashby : that the 
same was ploughed and sown two or three years, but the fences were afterwards 
suffered to decay. That John Wentworth, Esq., Sir John Wentworth, and Jerning- 
ham, Esq., of whom Mr. Wentworth purchased the estate, were always esteemed 
the owners of the warren, the waters, and the whord ; and to have the right of fishing 
and fowling : that he never knew the complainant, or his predecessors, lords of the 
Half Hundred of Lothingland, and the four leets, or as lord of the manor of Lowestoft, 
Gorleston, and Lound, ever fished or fowled upon Ashby water. 

In the old brief in this cause, on the part of the defendant, before extracted from, 
are contained references to the court-rolls of the manors of Somerleyton, Gorton, 
Newton, Flixton, and Gapton, as far back as the time of Edward I., in which were 
presentments of offences committed on the commons of Somerleyton, Blundeston, 
Hopton, Gorton, Newton, Brotherton, and Belton ; and also references to sundry deeds 
and evidences, all tending to prove the right of Sir John Wentworth to the soil of 


the commons within his several manors, and to the warren of Ashby ; his right of 
fishing and fowling ; and to the water and whord. 

Among other extracts are some old rentals of the manor of Ashby, in which are set 
down the rents received for the fish-house, and for the farm of the warren, tempore 

The brief further states, that the place where the great water in Ashby now is, was 
anciently the lord's turbary, in which several of the tenants in Ashby had several 
turbary, and some common of turbary ; and the lord of Ashby the greatest part of the 
turbary ; and that by continually digging, there became great and deep pits, which in 
process of time were filled with water ; and that those tenants who had turbary there 
before, continued to have piscary when it decayed into water : and so it was conveyed 
from tenant to tenant, till at length the lords of Ashby, whose estate Sir John Went- 
worth hath, purchased all the tenements of the manor into their own hands, and 
so Sir John is now owner of the water as parcel of the demesnes of the manor, and not 
as lord of the soil of the wastes : and the place where the warren is, was several barony 
of the tenants; and the soil, in like manner, was purchased in by the lords, as 
aforesaid ; and so also the wan-en is in the several demesnes of the lord, and distinct 
from that which is, or ever was, common or waste in the town of Ashby. 2 


at Ashby, which is a rectory dedicated to St. Mary, exhibits greater marks of antiquity 
than of elegance. It comprises a nave and chancel, lighted chiefly by lancet windows, 
and a circular tower, surmounted by an octangular capping, which is two-thirds of the 
entire height of the steeple, and of very inferior antiquity. Bricks are profusely used 
in the masonry of this tower, and the facings of the narrow pointed loop-holes, which 
pierce its sides, are wrought entirely with this material. In the interior is a low, 
square, mutilated font of Norman character, apparently of Purbeck marble, sustained 
on a single shaft. The cast window, of Edward the First's era, is blocked with 
masonry, and the entire fabric bears marks of apathy and neglect, the consequence, 
possibly, of its small population, which, in 1841, numbered only 53 souls. Many very 
ancient grave-stones lie on the floor, some of which are decorated with crosses of 
various devices, raised, as usual, on three greses. The annexed wood-cut represents 
one of rather elegant pattern. The stone is somewhat more than six feet long, flat in 
the centre, and probably the workmanship of the twelfth century. 

2 Extracts from old briefs and papers connected with the manor. 



A piscina in the early English fashion occupies the usual position ; and opposite, 
from the north wall, projects a shelf of stone, somewhat in the shape of a bracket, 
which must have formed the side table, or credence, of popish worship. 

Monuments. Sarah Sherwood, y e wife of John Sherwood, who lived together 
30 years, 8 months, 2 weeks. She departed this life 19th May, 1730, between one 
and two of clock in y e morning, on y c 00 year of her age. 

This living was augmented by Queen Anne's bounty in 1780, with 200. 

The registers commence in 1553; and the glebes contain 12 acres and 12 perches 
of land. 


Galfridus de Inglose 
Robert de Aldeby 
John de Baldeswell 
Robert de Mundeford . 
Petrus Aleyn 
Simon de Bauburgh 
Stephen Halke, de Weston 
John Holm . 
Richard Brentingby 
William Keyn 
Richard Eleync 
William Coo 
Walter Burford . 
Galfridus Halle . 
John Wellarsey . 
John Coket 
John Raveuingham 


Date. Patrons. 

1312 John de Inglose. 

1327 Robert de Inglose. 

1333 Id. 

13;">4 John de Inglose. 

13G1 Joan, relict of Robert de Inglose. 

1390 Hugo Falstoffe. 

1394 The Bishop, by lapse. 

1394 Thomas Edemer, Esq. 

1399 Henry de Inglose. 

1416 Id. 

1429 Henry Inglose, Knt. 

1437 Id. 

1458 Robert Inglose, Esq. 

1465 Id. 

1467 Id. 




William Beyham . 
William Copuldyke 
Radulphus Blomfield . 
William Cokke . 
John Fale . 
Hugo Haughworth 
Arthur Trythe 
Thomas Pydcoke . 
Thomas Wytton . 
Aug. Thirkild 
Ed. Bownes 
William Melling . 
John Brinsley 
Ed. Barhar . 
Ed. Nichill 
Robert Baldwin . 
Abraham Shewell 
John Belward 
Samuel Burrough 
George Anguish . 
Edward Missenden Love 
Edward Thurlow . 

Date. Patrons. 

1487 Eleanor, relict of Wm. Jenney. 

1506 Henry Blomfield, Esq. 

1510 The Bishop, by lapse. 

1523 Mary Jernegan, widow. 

1524 Margery Jernegan, widow. 
1534 John Jerningham. 

1536 Id. 

1547 Id. 

1558 John Jerningham. 

1576 John Jernegan, of Somerleyton. 

1632 John Wentworth, Knt. 

1644 Id. 

1661 Lady Anna Wentworth. 

1726 Sir Thomas Allin. 

1757 Id. 

1792 The King, on lunacy of Sir Thos. Allin. 

1803 The King, p. h. v. 

1810 The King, by reason of lunacy. 

1817 George Anguish, elk. 

Estimatur ad ix marc. Portio prioris Norwici in eadem xxvj s viij''. 


is also written Bolton in the records of the Bishop of Norwich, though I do not find it 
so spelt in any other ancient deeds. There is no distinct manor of Belton : in the 
court books the lordship is styled the manor of Gapton Hall with Belton, though 
of late it has generally been called Gapton Hall only, and seems to have extended over 
two other villages, not merely as a manor, but almost as another parish. 1 In a 
settlement of the year 1668, made by Thomas Garneys, Esq., of sundry estates, late of 
Sir John Wentworth, the manor is named Gapton in Bradwell, Belton, &c. 2 Beletun 
and Gabbetun are returned in Domesday amongst the King's possessions in Lothing- 

Jermvn MSS. 

2 Id. 


land, which Roger Bigot took charge of. Gabbetun appears to have been the most 
important of the two places, and comprised two small manors, held by Ulf and 
Achestan, who possessed large flocks of sheep. Sprottulf had also an estate here. 
Beletun is called a beruite only : it was depreciated in value, though still rated at 
10 shillings, and it fed a flock of 160 sheep. 3 Balderic de Bosco held this domain 
in the reign of Henry II., whose heirs exchanged it with Robert de Gladeson for lands 
in Normandy. 

"Antiq: Rex Henr: dedit Bnlderic de Bosco maniiim de Mutford cum Gapeton et Beleton in 
aiimtacone baron sue de Baldemund propter xl. terre quas sibi pmisit p : servicio suo scilicet, Mutford p : 
\\\. et Gapeton et Belton p. *.. Heredes vero pdci Baldrici dederunt Gapeton et Beleton in 
excambiam p: una villa in Normann: que vocat: Gyl, quas villas Robertus de Gladefen et Rad: Gernum 
tenent, set nescif p: qd: servicium." 4 

Certain lands, and apparently the manor of Gapton in Belton, &c., were granted by 
Osbert de Gladeson to the priory of Leigh, in Essex, during the reign of Henry III., 
which priory was founded in the year 1230 by the above-mentioned Ralph Gernun. 
It was returned as the lordship of the priorv in the ninth of Edward I., 5 and continued 
parcel of its possessions till the reign of Henry VIII., when it was granted to 
R. Cavendish, Esq., and was conveyed, in the reign of Elizabeth, with other estates, 
to John Wentworth, Esq. On the 14th of April, in the thirty-third of Elizabeth, 
by indenture tripartite between Thomas Cavendish, of Trimley St. Martin's, in the 
county of Suffolk, Esq., of the one part, and Humphrey Seckford, of Ipswich, in 
the said county, Esq., and John Wentworth, of Somerleyton, in the said county of 
Suffolk, Gent., of the other part, Thomas Cavendish, for 2000, conveyed to Humphrey 
Seckford, and John Wentworth, the lordships and manors of W T enham combusta, alias 
Burnt Wcnhani; West Burficld, alias West Bergholt; Derneford, alias Dirneforde 
Hall, in Sweffling ; Gapton, alias Gapton Hall, in Bradwell, in the said county of 
Suffolk ; which sometime did belong and appertain to the late priory of St. John 
the Evangelist of Lcighes, in the county of Essex, suppressed and dissolved ; and 
all and singular messuages, lands, tenements, mills and knights'-fees, advowsons, gifts, 
and patronage of churches, rectories, vicarages, chantries, and chapels, tithes, oblations, 
pensions, portions, court-leets, view of frank-pledge, franchises, &c., thereunto be- 
longing ; and all letters-patent, deeds, evidences, court-rolls, &c., to hold to Humphrey 
Seckford and John Wentworth, their heirs and assigns for ever. 

Sir John Wentworth, son and heir of the above-said John Wentworth, Esq., died in 

Domesday Book. Terra Regis. < Testa de Nevill. 5 Mag. Brit. 


possession of the manor of Gapton Hall with Belton, in 1652, and his widow, Lady 
Ann Wentworth, held it at her death in 1664. It was then inherited by Thomas 
Garneys, Esq., and was purchased in 1672 by Sir Thomas Allin. From him it descended 
to the family of Anguish, and fell, by heirship, to Lord Osborne, who sold it with his 
other estates in the Hundred to Samuel Morton Peto, Esq. 


belongs to the parish of Belton, and was called Brockestuna in Domesday Book. It 
was held as a manor by Ulketel, a free-man : he had 40 acres of land here, with 
half a plough, wood for 10 pigs, 1 draught horse, 2 geese, and 7 pigs, 30 sheep, 
and 3 goats, valued at 5 shillings. Under him a free-man held 30 acres of land, 
valued at 2 shillings. In the same hamlet, Broder, a free-man, who probably gave his 
name to the hamlet of Brotherton in the neighbouring parish of Hopton, held 60 acres 
for a manor, with two bordars, one plough in demesne, and half an one among the 
tenants ; 1 draught horse, 2 geese, 7 pigs, and 40 sheep : the whole valued at 

5 shillings. In the same place, Godwin continued under the Normans to hold 30 acres 
of land, and half a plough, valued at 3 shillings ; and two free-men here possessed 
80 acres of land, and one bordar, with one plough and a half, always valued at 

6 shillings. From the quantity of land which is thus recorded as lying in this now 
small hamlet, it is not improbable that the domain in Hopton, known as Brotherton, 
was then included in the survey of Browston. The ownership of Broder leads to 
this conclusion. The entire property was in the hands of the Crown, under the 
stewardship of Roger Bigot. 

Browston Hall, which is sometimes called Browston White House, was the seat of 
the family of Le Grys, some of whom are buried in the parish church of Belton. 
The front rooms were built by Mr. Le Grys, but the wrought ceilings of the hall and 
principal apartments were executed under the direction of the grandfather of the 
Rev. Edward Missenden Love, who then resided here. It is a good old-fashioned 
mansion, standing low and sheltered, but commanding no view of the adjacent water 
called Browston Broad, nor of the expansive bosom of Fritton Lake. It is now the 
property of Mrs. Sophia Harper. This lady is also the owner of an ancient house, not 
two hundred yards from the hall, which retains considerable marks of age. On 
its front is a stone thus inscribed: W. R. S. 1689. It was, therefore, probably built 
by one of the family of Symonds, who were possessors of Browston Hall before it 
passed to that of Le Grys. 

The gross amount of acres in the parish of Belton is 2055, 3 roods, 19 perches; 
of which 76 acres, 3 roods, 16 perches, consist of roads, drains, and water. The glebe 


lands amount to 19 acres, 2 roods, 19 perches, including the church-yard and home- 
stall. The commutation in lieu of tithes was 440, and the population in 1841 
consisted of 465 souls. 


There does not appear to have been a church at Belton when Domesday was 
compiled : that record is silent, at least, concerning it. The ' Testa de Nevill,' 
however, which contains inquests taken as early as the reign of Henry III., informs us 
that the church at Belton then belonged to the canons of St. Bartholomew at Smith- 

"Eccliii de pua Gernera et de Gorleston et de Lowystoft et de Beleton sunt de dono Dni Reg: et 
Magr: Alan de Stokes tenet illas p: canonicos de Sco Bartholomew de Smethefeld, quibus Diis Rex H: 
avus illas dedit, ut diet." 6 

The church must therefore have been built as early as the reign of Henry I., 
who died in A.U. 1135; because the preceding record tells us he gave it to the 
monastery at Smithfield. The master Alan de Stokes, a pluralist of no ordinary 
stamp, holding four preferments, seems to have leased the temporalities of Belton for 
the annual payment of a pound of incense. 

"Rad: de Beleton tenet eceliam de Beleton reddendo inde p: ann: Magro de Stok unam libram 
incensi." ' 

If the assertion of the Testa de Nevill, that the canons of St. Bartholomew were 
patrons of this benefice, be correct, they could not very long have retained it, for 
we find the patronage in the hands of the bishop of the diocese as early as the reign of 
Edward III. 

The present edifice bears no marks of very early architecture, and may be referred 
to the middle of the fourteenth century. It comprises a nave and chancel only; a 
circular tower at the west end having been long ruinated. It is a fine, well-proportioned 
building, constructed of cut flints, and in good condition. The interior is lofty and 
light, and produces a pleasing effect, which even the flat ceiling of the chancel, and the 
want of an east window, cannot altogether destroy. A neat screen across the fine 
chancel arch, and an octangular font of hard stone, sculptured with pointed arches, and 
raised on a shaft of two divisions, complete the ancient decorations of this sacred 
edifice, if we except a small piscina having a cusped arch, open to sedilia, unfinished 
with canopies. The little painting inserted in the north wall of the chancel within the 

6 Testa de Nevill, 285. 7 i& 30 o. 


communion-rails, is, as we are informed by a note on the fly-leaf of the last register 
book, a painting on glass, and was placed there by the Rev. John Schomberg, the last 
rector. The inscription in front of the organ, which states that it was erected by 
the same incumbent, and presented after his death to the parish by his surviving 
brothers, is decidedly an error, as it was bought, and placed in the church, by sub- 
scription, to which Mrs. Fowler, and the late Mr. Anguish, were liberal contributors. 
It was removed to its position at the west end of the nave by the present incumbent, 
who built the gallery in which it stands. The church possesses but one bell, which 
hangs over the porch. 

The oldest register book commences January 9th, 1560. The scries is complete 
and unbroken from the above date, and in excellent preservation. From the entries we 
learn that the plague raged here in the spring of 1605. This disease must have spread 
itself from Yarmouth, where, in the previous year, two thousand five hundred persons 
fell victims to its fury, amongst whom, it is recorded, were both the ministers of 
Yarmouth church. 

Monuments. There are several inscriptions to the family of Ives, who bore for 
arms, arg. a chev. between 3 blackamoors' heads erased sab. John Ives, of Gt. 
Yarmouth, merchant, died Oct. 1, 1758, set. 74. John Ives, Esq., died March 19th, 
1793, aged 74. Mary, his second wife, died March 19, 1790, aged 72. 

There is also a memorial to John Ives, Esq., Fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian 
Societies, and Suffolk Herald Extraordinary. He was son of John Ives, Esq., who 
died in 1793, and was extensively known as the author of a work on the Roman 
Antiquities in the adjoining village of Burgh, entitled ' Remarks upon the Garianonum 
of the Romans: the site and remains fixed and described.' He also published three 
numbers of ' Select Papers relating to English Antiquities.' 

Mr. Ives possessed a quick and lively fancy, but seems to have been deficient in 
sound antiquarian learning. He died in 1776, at the early age of 25 years. I give 
his monument at full length, as a fellow labourer in antiquarian pursuits. 


Viri lectissimi 

Johannis Ives, Armigeri, 

Regise et Antiquariue London: SS. 

Nee non provincise Suffolciensis 

Inter primos eruditi, bonarum artium 


Qui in priscorum temporum monumentis 

Illustrandis, multum, nee infeliciter, 


VOL. I. 2 Q 


Nono mensis Jan: A. D. MDCCLXXVI. 

^Etat: xxv. 

Maximo cum desiderio omnium, 

Mrerentium prsecipue parentum, 

Johannis et Marise Ives, 

Immature, eheu ! 


Rev. Robert Cayley, late Rector, died Oct. 29, 1784, aet. 69. Mary, his wife, died 
Jan. 26, 1785, set. 55. Ann, their daughter, died Oct. 20th, 1787, aet. 14. William, 
their son, died June 16, 1762, aet. 10 months. Frank Plumtree Howes, died March 23, 
1840, set. 4 months. David Urquhart, late of Hobland Hall, obt. 27 June, 1774, 
a-t. 57. 

Arms: Urquhart; quarterly 1st and 4th: or, 3 boars' heads erased, within a 
bordure gules : 2nd and 3rd, party per fess indented, ermine and azure. 

Mrs. Margaret Le Grys, of Browston Hall, in this parish, died 19 June, 1788, 
fct. 59. Arms : Le Grys ; quarterly or and az. on a bend arg. 3 boars pass, sable. 
The arms of Le Grys are so borne on the above monument, but the usual coat of this 
ancient family is quarterly azure and gules, with the same bend, surtout. 

Ann Taylor, sister of Win. Taylor, of Gt. Yarmouth, Esq., obt. 25 Dec., 1790, 
srt. 44. 

William Mallett, brewer, of Gt. Yarmouth, died Aug. 10, 1777, aet. 63 years. 
William Langham Mallett, his son, died May 26, 1779, act. 28 years. Joshua Mallett, 
his son, died Sept, 25, 1781, aet, 28. Marian Mallett, wife of Joshua Mallett, died 
Aug. 29, 1783, ajt. 24 years. Mary, wife of William Mallett, sen., died Feb. 28, 
1785, aged 72 years. Mary and Harriet, daughters of Joshua and Marian Mallett, 
died the former Feb. 22, 1797, aged 18; the latter, May 18, 1804, aged 22 years. 
Francis Morse, Esq., and Margaret, his wife, are buried under a large stone, on which 
are their arms. Morse ; party per pale, a chev. between 3 mullets pierced. 

Margaret Carter, died 21 March, 1759, aet. 67. Mary Mallett Cowlam, daughter 
of Simon and Mary Smith, died Aug. 20, 1807, aet. 27 years. Gabriel Carter, of 
Gt. Yarmouth, died 15 Oct. 1810. Nathaniel Symonds, Esq., of Gt. Yarmouth, died 
May 3, 1754, aet. 66. Elizabeth, his wife, died Jan. 23, 1764, aet. 76. Arms: 
Symonds ; sab. a dolphin embowed arg. gorging a small fish of the second. 

Mary, wife of John Peele, and daughter of James Symonds, of Belton, died Feb. 
15th, 1757, aet. 74. John Peele, Esq., late collector of His Majesty's customs in 
Yarmouth, died in 1747, aet, 67. 



Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Richard de Pulham . . . 1344 The Bishop. 

Stephen Nally, of Cressingham . 1349 Id. 

William Malebys . . . 1376 Id. 

Henry Sturdy .... 1393 Id. 

Nicholas Derman . . . 1422 Id. 

Nicholas Stanton . . . 1456 Id. 

Thomas, Epiis Dromorensis . 1461 Id. 

John Manyngham . . . 14/8 Id. 

Peter Willington . . . 1518 Id. 

John Watlinge .... Id. 

George Beaumont . . . 1560 Id. 

Jerningham Jenney . . . 1610 Id. 

William Wardell ... 1624 Id. 

Samuel Fleete .... 1660 Id. 

Thomas Clarges . . 1694 The King. 

John Ellis .... 1714 

John Pitcairne . . . 1/28 The Bishop. 

Rohert Cayley . . . . 1753 Id. 

Thomas Hay .... 1/84 Id. 

Thomas Hay, second time . . 1790 Id. 

John Bathurst Schomherg . . 1830 Id. 

Thomas George Francis Howes . 1837 Id. 

Estimatio illius xxvi marc. 

Charities. The church lands comprise about seven acres, of which the parish clerk 
has one acre and a half, rent free. The proceeds of the remainder are applied to the 
ordinary expenses of the church. On the enclosure, in 1810, of certain waste lands, 
nine acres were awarded to the poor ; the rent of which is laid out in the purchase of 
coals, which are distributed in winter. 

THERE are two manors here those of Blundeston Hall, and Gonville's. The former 
was held by a family which took their name from the place, and retained it, with the 
patronage of the church, till the end of the reign of Edward III. In the ninth of 


Edward I., Robert de Blundeston was lord; 1 and in the twenty-third of Edward III., 
in the year 1348, there was a conveyance from Osbertus, Rector of the church of 
Blundeston, and Oliverus de Wysete, to William, the son of Robert de Blundeston, and 
the heirs of his body, of the manor of Blundeston, with all the lands and appurtenances 
in Blundeston, Oulton, and Flixton ; together with the advowsoh of the church of the 
village of Blundeston, with the appurtenances ; all which were formerly of Robert de 
Blundeston ; to hold to the said William and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten. 
From this family the manor and advowson passed to that of Yarmouth ; Henry 
Yarmouth, of Blundeston, presenting to the church in 1438. Humphrey Yarmouth, 
his descendant, on the 1st of December, 1570, conveyed to William Sydnor the manor 
of Blundeston, cum pertineritibus, and all other his manors, tenements, liberties, swan- 
marks, and hereditaments in Blundeston, Gorton, Lound, Somerleyton, Flixton, 
Lowestoft, and Gunton, or elsewhere, and all other his manors and hereditaments, in 
the said towns, in fee. The manor, &c., and the messuages, were found to be holden of 
Sir John Heveningham, of his manor of South Leet, in soccage. 2 The said William 
Sydnor, by deed indented Gth of October, twenty-sixth of Elizabeth, 1584, in con- 
sideration of a jointure to Elizabeth, late wife of Henry Sydnor, his son, and heir 
apparent, did enfcoff John Read, and others, and their heirs, of a house called Gillam's, 
and 90 acres of land in Blundeston and Flixton ; a meadow of 12 acres in Flixton ; a 
marsh called Wrentham's, and 41 acres of land in Blundeston ; two other messuages 
and 9 acres of land in Blundeston ; a house called Chamber's, and 104 acres of land in 
Ilenstead. And of the manor called Blundeston; and the manor of Fritton with the 
appurtenances, to their uses ; viz., as to the manor of Blundeston with the appur- 
tenances, to the use of the said William for life ; and after to the use of the said Henry, 
and his heirs male by the said Elizabeth, his wife ; and after to the right heirs of the 
said William. The marriage between the aforesaid Henry Sydnor and Elizabeth was 
solemnized on the 1st of February, twenty-seventh of Elizabeth. He died during his 
father's lifetime, in December, 1611. William Sydnor, the father, died on the 26th of 
August, 1612. By his will, dated the 26th of March, in the same year, being "then 
of Christ's Church, but late of Blundeston," he gave to the poor of Blundeston, 
Henstead, Fritton, Belton, Conisford at the Gate (Norwich), Berstete St. John's, 20 
shillings to each parish, and to Trowse on this side the Bridge 10 shillings. He desired 
" his body to be buried in the chauncell of the parishe church of Blundeston." He 
gave unto Dorothy Sydnor, his daughter, 200 of lawful English money, some 
furniture, and 10 in gold, to be paid within fourteen days ; a cup of silver with three 
feet, and a cover. To Alice Goldsmithe, his daughter, all her mother's apparell, and 

1 Mag. Brit. 2 Court Rolls. 


10 in gold, &c. Among other bequests, he leaves to William Sydnor, his grandchild, 
some furniture, and a great carved chest which lately came from Bhmdeston, and his 
next best salt-cellar. After leaving annuities to his servants, he directed " that his 
house in Clirist's Church in all things be mayntayned and kept as usually he did for 
the entertainment of his children ; and such of his children and servants as would stay 
and live orderly, and do their service honestly, during the time of their stay ; for which 
they were to have their wages. The charges of such housekeeping to be defrayed by 
his executors ; and he desired that Dorothy Sydnor, his daughter, during the said 
month should have the government of the said house." 3 

By an inquisition, held the 30th of August, in the twelfth of James I., when the 
death of William Sydnor was returned, it was found that William, the son of 
Henry, his eldest son, then deceased, was his next heir, and of the age of 24 years and 
more. And that the said William, eldest, was seized in fee of the manor of Blunston, 
alias Blundeston, with the appurtenances in Blundeston, Gorton, Gunton, Lowestoft, 
Oulton, Ashby, Flixton, Bradwell, Burgh, Fritton, Bclton, Herringfleet, Lound, Somer- 
leyton, Hopton, and Gorleston. 

On the 13th of February, eleventh of James I., William Sydnor, the grandson, in 
consideration of a marriage with Anne Harborne, did covenant with William Har- 
borne, her father, to convey to him, Sir Anthony Drury, and others, and their heirs, 
the manor of Fritton, with the appurtenances, in Suffolk, and all lands, tenements, 
&c., of the said William, in Fritton, or in the towns adjoining, to the use of himself 
and his heirs until the marriage, and after the marriage to the use of himself and the 
said Anne, for jointure, and the heirs male of his body, with several remainders over to 
Robert, Thomas, and Henry, his brothers, Edmund, William, Francis, and Paul Sydnor, 
his uncles, and the heirs male of every of their several bodies. And after to the use 
of the right heirs of the said William Sydnor, the grandfather. And the manor of 
Blundeston, with the rights, members, and appurtenances, in Suffolk, and all lands, 
tenements, and other hereditaments, &c., of the said William Sydnor, the grandson, 
in Blundeston, or in the towns adjoining, or any of them, to and for the like uses, and 
estates, and remainders as before ; omitting only the said Anne, and her estates, 
for life. In the following year a fine was levied in pursuance, by the said William 
Sydnor, his uncle, and the heirs of Sir Anthony, of the manors of Fritton and Blun- 
deston, with the appurtenances. By the Office of the ninth of Charles I., after the 
death of William Sydnor, the grandson, it was found that he died, seized, on the 13th 
of June, eighth of Charles I., 1632, without issue male. By the same Office, Elizabeth, 
Anne, Sarah, Mary, Hester, Susanna, Abigail, and Lydia, were found to be the 

8 Jermyn MSS. 


daughters and co-heiresses of the said William Sydnor, and that Elizabeth, the eldest, 

was, at her father's death, under eleven years of age, and all the rest under fourteen 

years of age. 4 On the 3rd of July, in the tenth of Charles I., the King, by indre under 

the seal of the Court of Wards, granted to Anthony Bury, for a fine of 200 marks, the 

custody, wardship, and marriages of the said co-heiresses, to his own use. On the 2nd 

of July, tenth of Charles, the King, by another indre, under the seal of the said Court, 

granted and leased to him, in consideration of 10, the manor of Henstead Pierpoind's, 

and two acres in Blundeston, during the minority of the said co-heiresses, at the yearly 

rent of 2. 6s. 8d. On the 20th of November, in the same year, this Anthony Bury, 

by indre, assigned all his interests to Dr. Talbot, who married the said Anne, mother of 

the said co-heiresses, to his own use, for 330 paid, besides 100 for Bury, to the 

receiver of the Court of Wards, for leave of the King's fine. In Michaelmas Term, 

1040, there was a decree in the Court of Wards, against Sir John Wentworth, who, in 

his answer to the information of the attorney of the wards on behalf of the said 

co-heiresses, denied they had the manor of Blundeston, but confessed they had the 

manor of Gonville's, in Blundeston, and that their father purchased that of one Jettor. 

Hut the Court decreed that the said co-heiresses had the manor of Blundeston, and also 

the manor of Gonville's. And such possession as the father of the said wards had in 

Blundeston great water, and fishing, is by the decree settled with the wards during 

their minority, and until livery sued. And Sir John desired not to fish in right of 

a tenement in Blundeston, which was his father's. As to the wards' suit as touching 

an hoorde, some lands in Fritton, and other matters, they are left to trial at law. 

Elizabeth, Anne, Sarah, Mary, Hester, Susanna, Abigail, and Lydia Sydnor, the 
eight daughters and co-heiresses of William Sydnor, of Blundeston, by fine levied, 
and recovery suffered, and by deed dated the 19th of December, 1651, conveyed 
the said manors in Blundeston and Fritton to hold to William Heveningham, Esq., 
his heirs and assigns, for ever. 

The family of Sydnor, from whom Blundeston thus passed, appears to have 

originated from Sydnor, who married a daughter of Sir John Berney, of 

Keedham, in Norfolk. The following pedigree is derived from an abstract of the title 
of the estates, sold by the eight daughters and co-heiresses of William Sydnor, made in 
1651 ; except the marriages of the eight daughters, which are added from the abstract 
continued to 1663, at which time Sarah was married to William Castleton. The other 
daughters had been all married before that date. 

4 Sic script. 



Sydnor, r- 

of Blundeston. 

. . . d r . of John Berney, 
of Reedham, Esq. 

William Sydnor, Esq., 
purchaser of Blundeston, &c., 
obt. 26 Aug., 11 James I. 

Bridgett, d r . and heir", 
of John Jernegan, 
of Belton, Esq. 

Bridgett Svdnor === I 

First wife. 


Henry Sydnor, 

died in his father's 

lifetime, 10th Dec. 

10 James I. 

= Elizabeth 

Edmund Sydnor, 
obt. S. "P. 

William Sydnor, 
of Belton, after- 
wards of Norwich. 

Francis Sydnor, 
of Cray's Inn. 

Paul Sydnor, 
of Lincolnshire. 

William Sydnor, = Anne, d r . of William Clere Talbot, LL.D., 

I I I 

Robert Sydnor, Thomas Sydnor, Henry Sydnor, 

of Blundeston, 
obt. 13 June, 1C32. 

Harborne, Esq. 

2nd husband. obt. 

S. P. 

obt. S. P. 

of Norwich. 

Elizabeth Anne 
.Sydnor, Sydnor, 
ux. Tho'. ux. Glover 
Fuller. Denny. 

ux. W'. 

ux. John 

ux. R. 


ux. Cha*. 

ux. Robert 

' 1 
ux." Will 
A very. 

William Sydnor, the purchaser of Blundeston, as appears from bequests in his will, 
left three daughters, namely, Dorothy Sydnor, Alice Sydnor, who married Henry 
Goldsmith, and left issue Charles Goldsmith ; and Elizabeth Sydnor, who married 
W. Doans, and left a son, William. Henry Sydnor, who died in his father's life- 
time, left also three daughters, Elizabeth, Catharine, and Alice. 

William Heveningham, Esq., who purchased the manors of Blundeston and Fritton 
of the Sydnors, was in the year 1661 convicted and attainted of high treason, as has 
been already shown under Mutford, &c. By letters patent, dated 28th September, 
thirteenth Charles II., the King did give unto Brian, Viscount Cullen, Sir Thomas 
Fanshaw, Sir Ralph Banks, Knights, Edward Pitt, and Charles Cornwallis, Esqrs., among 
other manors and lands, the said manors of Blundeston and Fritton ; to hold to them, 
the said Brian, Viscount Cullen, &c., and their heirs, for ever. The said Brian, Viscount 
Cullen, &c., by their deed-poll, dated 3rd October, thirteenth Charles II., made between 
them, the said Brian, Viscount Cullen, &c., George, Earl of Bristol, Henry, Earl of 
Dover, and Margaret Heveningham, wife of the said William Heveningham, which 
was also signed by His Majesty's sign manual, did declare the use of the aforesaid 


letters patent to be to the intent that the said Brian, Viscount Cullen, &c., should, 
either by perception of the profits or sale of the aforesaid manors of Blundeston 
and Fritton, amongst others, raise 11,000 for the said Earl of Bristol, and several 
other trusts therein comprised : the remainder to be for the use of the said Mary, 
wife of the said William. The said William Heveningham, and Mary his wife, in 
Michaelmas Term, thirteenth Charles II., levied a fine, and suffered a recovery of 
the said manors of Blundeston and Fritton, inter alia. And by indenture, dated 
24 tli of October, thirteenth of Charles II., the said William and Mary declared that 
the said fine and recovery should be to the use of the said Brian, Viscount Cullen, 
Sir Thomas Fanshaw, Sir Ralph Banks, Edward Pitt, and Charles Cornwallis, and 
their heirs, for ever. 

In the 10th and llth of December, 1662, fourteenth of Charles II., appear a 
lease and release from the Earl of Bristol, Brian, Viscount Cullen, Sir Thomas 
Fanshaw, Sir Ralph Banks, Edward Pitt, and Charles Cornwallis, unto Sir John 
Tasburgh, of the manor of Blundeston, and the capital house called Blundeston 
llali, and the manor of Fritton, alias Freton Paston's, and all that manor called 
Blundeston, alias Gunville's, alias Scroopc Hall, alias Gunville's Blundeston, with all 
tlie rights, members, and appurtenances to the said manors belonging; and the 
advowson of the churches, rectories, and vicarages of Blundeston and Fritton aforesaid ; 
and eourts-leet and view of frank-pledge, &c., to hold to him and his heirs, for ever. 
Consideration, 4000 in hand, and 4000 to be paid as therein named. On the 
27th of December, 1602, the said William Heveningham and Mary his wife did grant, 
release, and confirm all and every the said manors of Blundeston, Fritton, and Blun- 
deston Gunville's, to the said John Tasburgh, and his heirs, for ever. 

These estates next passed to the Allins; for, on the 20th July, 1668, are letters 
of attorney from Thomas Allin, of Lowestoft, Knt., to Richard London, &c., to receive 
livery of seizin of John Tasburgh, of Bodney, in Norfolk, Esq., of all his manors, 
messuages, lands and fruits, and hereditaments situated in Blundeston, Fritton, Gorton, 
or any other town adjoining. Sir Thomas Allin held his first court baron for these 
manors on the 3rd of November, 1668. 5 

On the 9th of July, 1712, the trustees of Richard Allin, under a deed authorizing 
them to sell lands to satisfy his debts, sold a messuage and about 76 acres of land 
at Blundeston and Fritton, of the yearly rent of 39. 10s., to Gregory Clarke, for 
663 ; and on the 30th of August following, two other pieces of land, containing 
13 acres, of the yearly rent of 5. 10s., to the same Gregory Clarke, for 100. These 
estates were afterwards purchased by Sir Ashurst Allin, Bart., who resided there; 

6 Court Books. 


and were by him devised to his daughter, Frances Allin, for life. On the 29th 
of September, 1714, Blundeston Hall -farm, lands and decoy, of the yearly rent of 
217. 2s. 6d., were sold to William Luson, merchant, the consideration money being 
3691. 2s. 6d., who devised them to Robert Luson, his son, who, by his will of the 
1st of May, 1767, bequeathed them to his eldest daughter, Maria, in fee, who married 
George Nicholls, Esq., by whom this estate was sold to Robert Woods, who, by his 
will, dated July 4th, 1780, devised the same to his wife to sell, and in 1791, she 
conveyed it to Thomas Woods in fee. Other estates in Blundeston were by Robert 
Luson devised to his second daughter, Hephzibah, who married Nathaniel Rix, Esq. 
An estate at Blundeston, and Gorton, and Lound, he devised to Elizabeth, his daughter, 
who afterwards married Cammant Money, by whom the second property was sold to 
J. B. Roe, and the first to J. Manship. 6 The Decoy farm, at Blundeston, was, by the 
executors of Robert Luson, under the powers in the will contained, sold to William 
Berners, Esq., of Woolverstonc Hall, whose son, Charles, resold it to Thomas Morse, 
Esq. 7 The manor of Fritton, and an estate of the annual value of 173, were sold 
to Samuel Fuller, Esq., for 26G0. 8 

The manors of Blundeston Hall and Gunville's united, as will be presently shown, 
remained with the Allins, and passed with their other estates to the family of Anguish. 
From the Anguishes they descended to Lord Sydney Osborne, who sold them, in 
1844, to Samuel Morton Peto, Esq. 


was the lordship of John, the son of Nicholas de Gunville or Gonville, in the fourteenth 
of Edward III., in the month of March in which year is a " note of time " of this 
manor between the aforesaid John, who is styled the son of Nicholas Gonvyll, 
chyvaler, and Johan, his wife, complainants, and William de Gonvyll, parson of the 
church of Thelnethan, John Gonvyll, parson of the church of Lylyng, Osbert, parson 
of the church of Blundeston, and Thomas de Kalkhyll, deforcients, of 24 messuages, 
332 acres of land, 16 acres of meadow, &c., in Gorleston, Louystoft, Barneby, Little 
Yarmouth, and Hopton, to John, son of Nicholas and Johan, and the heirs of their 
bodies ; and remainder, after the decease of John and Johan, to the right heirs of 
John, the son of Nicholas. 9 The manor remained with this ancient line till it passed, 
in the early part of the fifteenth centuiy, to Sir Robert Herling, Knt., who married 
Joan or Jane, the heiress of the Gonvilles, as the subjoined pedigree will show. 

6 Jermyn MSS. 7 Id. 8 Id. Id. 

VOL. I. 2 R 



Nicholas de Gunville, or Gonville, 
living temp. Henry III. 

John de Gonville, his son, 
living temp. Ed. I. 

\Villiam de Gonville, 
in 1285, summoned to 
France, with the King. 

Matilda, or Maud, 

heiress of the Lerlings, 

married 1304. 


\\ illiam tic Gonville, 

Rector of Theliiethan, 

resigned it in 1350. 

Edmund de Gonville, 

instituted to Thclncthan 

on his brother's resignation, 

May, 1350. 

Sir Nicholas de Gonville, 
Knt., brother and heir to 
Sir Edmund de Gonville. 

Sir Edmund de Gonville, Priest, 
founder of Gonville Hall, Cam- 
bridge, &c., Rector of Thelnethan, 
which he resigned for Rushworth 
in 1326. 

John Gonville, Esq., - 

paid x 1 . relief for his manor in Shadwell 
and Rushworth, of his own inheritance, 

to the Earl of Gloucester, and x'. for 
Rushworth manor, which was his grand- 
mother's inheritance. 

Edmund Gonville, Esq. j 


John Gonville, presented hy his father 

to Lerling, in 1344, which he resigned 

for East Herling in 1349. 

John Gonville, Esq., Elizabeth, daughter of 

son and heir, 1402. Sir John Jernegan. 

Sir Robert Herling, Knt. Joan or Jane Gonville, 

heiress general of the family. 

Anne, foundress of the Scroop Fellowship 
in Caius College, Cambridge. 

Sir Robert Herling, and Joan his wife, held the manor of Gonville's in 1420, as we 
learn from an inquisitio ad quod damnum, taken in that year. " Robtus Harlyng, 
miles, et Johanna, uxor ejus, tempore ultimi pascigii dni Henr. Regis nunc ad partes 
Norman: seiziti fuerunt de mrio vocat Gunvilles manor: cum ptin: in villis de Blun- 
deston, Olton, et Flyxton, in dmico suo ut de feodo." 10 Sir Robert Herling left a 

Inq. 9 Hen. V. n. 10. 


daughter and heiress, Anne, who was thrice married ; first, to Sir William Chamberlain, 
Knight of the Garter; secondly, to Sir Robert Wingfield, Knt., who in 1474 settled, 
amongst divers manors and estates in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, the manors of 
Gnateshall, Gorton, Newton, Lound, and Blundeston, with Lound advowson, in 
Suffolk, on themselves and their trustees. He died seized of these in 1480. In 1492, 
Anne, his widow, married, thirdly, John, Lord Scroop, of Bolton, who died in 
1494. H On her death, without issue, the manor of Gonville's went to Margaret, 
her father's sister, the wife of Sir Robert Tuddenham, Knt. 12 On the 4th of April, 
sixth of James I., Robert Jettor conveyed to William Sydnor the site, manor, or 
member of a manor, called Blundeston, Gunvilles Blundeston, or Gunvilles cum 
pertin: and a close called Gunvilles, reputed the site of the said manor, containing six 
acres ; another close called the Home-close, in Blundeston, and four several fish-ponds, 
with several waters and fishings in Blundeston and Flixton, and with covenant to levy 
a fine thereof to the use of the said William Sydnor, and his heirs. William Sydnor's 
eight daughters and co-heiresses conveyed it to William Heveningham. Both manors 
in this parish being thus united, were granted, with the advowson, to Lady Hevening- 
ham's trustees in 1601, as already shown. 

Early in the seventeenth century, Sir Butts Bacon, created a Baronet on the 
29th of July, 1627, possessed an estate and resided at Blundeston. He married 
Dorothy, daughter of Sir Henry Warner, of Parham, in Suffolk, Knt., and widow 
of William, second son of Sir Henry Jermyn, Knt., by whom he had three sons, Charles 
and Clement, who died without issue, and Sir Henry Bacon, his successor. He 
had also two daughters, Anne, the wife of Henry Kitchingman, of Blundeston Hall, 
and Dorothy, who married William Peck, of Cove. Sir Butts died in 1661, and his 
widow in 1679. They lie buried in Blundeston church. Soon after the year 1700, 
the estate of the Bacons was sold to the Allins of Somerleyton ; and in 1770 became 
the property of Frances, the daughter of the Rev. Ashurst Allin, of whose executors it 
was purchased by Nicholas Henry Bacon, Esq., the second surviving son of the late 
Sir Edmund Bacon, Bart., of Raveningham, in Norfolk, who sold it in 1832 to 
Charles Steward, Esq., an officer in the Honourable East India Company's service, who 
is the present possessor. He married his first-cousin, Harriet, the only daughter, by 
his first wife, of Ambrose Harbord Steward, Esq., of Stoke Park, near Ipswich, High 
Sheriff for Suffolk in 1822, by whom he has an only son, Charles John. 

The mansion erected on this estate has been termed at different periods Sydnors, 
and Blundeston Villa, but is now designated Blundeston House. The spot is more 
celebrated for the loveliness of its scenery than the grandeur of the residence, which 

11 Blometield. 12 Id. 


is simply a good substantial house, erected in a style of unpretending architecture. 
But its verdant lawns and ample sparkling lake bear testimony of a long subjection to 
the hand of taste, which evidently still controls. The domain was many years the 
residence of the late Rev. Norton Nicholls. Mr. Mathias, an author well known by his 
' Observations on the Character and Writings of Gray/ in a letter to a friend, occa- 
sioned by the death of this " rare and gifted man," terms his villa here " an oasis." 
Speaking of what Mr. Nicholls had perfected at Blundeston, he says, " if barbarous taste 
should not improve it, or some more barbarous land-surveyor level with the soil its 
beauties and its glories, (it) will remain as one of the most finished scenes of cultivated 
sylvan delight which this island can offer to our view." An aged pollard oak, and a 
summer-house placed at the termination of the lake, are said to have been favourite 
haunts of Gray, who was an occasional guest of Mr. Nicholls at Blundeston. In 1799, 
this gentleman entertained here the gallant Admiral Duncan, soon after his return to 
Yarmouth, crowned with the laurels won at Camperdown. Mr. Nicholls died on the 
2 2ml of November, 1809, aged 68, and was buried at Richmond church, in Surrey. 
The vicinity of Blundeston House, while tenanted by Dr. Saunders, was some years 
since the scene of an unfortunate accident, which deprived that gentleman of life. 
Being in the act of reloading his double-barrelled gun, a favourite dog fawning upon 
him, sprung the trigger of the second barrel, and discharged the contents into his 
master's body. Dr. Saunders's melancholy fate is recorded in the ' Suffolk Chronicle ' 
of October the 15th, 1814. 

The lake, or Blundeston Great Water, as it is called in ancient writings, was the 
subject of a dispute in the reign of James I., very similar to that recorded at Ashby, 
as we learn from the following " exemplification of interrogatories to be administered 
on the part and behalf of John Ufflet, Gent., Henry Winston, Henry Doughtie, and 
Anne his wife, Thomas Stares, and Anthony Thornwood, complainants, against 
William Sydnor, Esq., and Henry Sydnor, Gent., deforcients; and of depositions 
taken at Lowestoft, on the 15th of March, in the seventh of James I., before Anthony 
Shardclow, W'illiam Southwell, William Cuddon, and Benedict Campe, Gents., by 
virtue of His Majesty's commission out of the Court of Chancery, to them directed. 
Richard Burman deposed, inter alia, that he knew the great water in Blundeston, 
called the common fenne, or common water, and the piece of ground called Hemp- 
water green, containing about three acres ; that the said water contained about 
sixteen or seventeen acres. That the messuage wherein Henry Sydnor then dwelt 
was sometimes of Maister Yarmouth. That the water and green had always been 
reputed as common. That the inhabitants fished in the water ; wetted their hemp 
therein, and dried it on the green, and fed their cattle thereon. William Pynne 
deposed, inter alia, that he did not know that the said William Sydnor or Humphrey 


Yarmouth had any manor in the said towne; nor that there were more manors 
therein than the manor of Mr. Jettor, called Gunvilles. Robert Jettor deposed 
that the water is called the common water of Bhmdeston in a court-roll of the manor 
of Blundeston Gonville, dated the thirty-first of Henry VIII., and that he did not 
know that Mr. Yarmouth, or 'the defendants, had any manor in Blundeston, or that 
there was any other manor therein than his, called Blundeston Gonvilles. John Wood 
deposed, inter alia, that the said William Sydnor had obtained the leases from divers 
owners of sundry messuages or dwelling-houses in Blundeston, of their interests of 
their fishing in the said great water about twenty years sithelice, and that he had 
before that sued some of the inhabitants of the said towne for having fished therein. 
That he and another, then churchwardens of Blundeston, did sell the alders growing in 
or near the said water, and did convert the money to the reparations of the town-house, 
and that other inhabitants did take poles, splints, and other wood growing there, &c. 
That he had heard that Mr. Yarmouth did keep courts in Blundeston, and had tenants 
therein, and that this deponent did hold of Mr. Sydnor, who had Mr. Yarmouth's estate, 
three acres of land, &c., and that Mr. Jettor had a manor in Blundeston, &c. Interro- 
gatories to be administered to the witnesses to be produced on the part and behalf 
of William Sydnor, Esq., arid Henry Sydnor, Gent., complainants, against Henry 
Winston, &c., deforcients. Inter alia. Do you know that Humphrey Yarmouth, Esq., 
deceased, was seized of the manor of Blundeston in Blundeston, and of land covered 
with water, containing forty acres, and which, on his death, descended to Henry 
Yarmouth, his son, also dead ; who sold the same to William Sydnor ; and that they 
severally held courts-baron, &c. And whether Humphrey Yarmouth, and Henry 
Yarmouth, his son, and William Sydnor afterwards, did not present to the living on the 
death or resignation of the incumbents. If the house wherein Henry Sydnor then 
dwelt was not called Blundeston Hall in court-rolls and writings. Whether, in the 
twenty-eighth of Elizabeth, in a controversy between the said William Sydnor, lord of 
Blundeston, and owner of the water, with the inhabitants as to the same being common 
or not, the dispute was not referred to Sir Edward Coke, then Attorney-General, 
and afterwards Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and to Richard Godfrey, Esq. 
Whether in the thirty-first of Elizabeth there was not a similar dispute, and that it 
was amicably settled by the said Henry Winston and certain others of the inhabitants 
agreeing to release their rights of fishing in the water, and that they should have in 
lieu thereof, a certain driftway thereto from the highway, near the mansion of the said 
William Sydnor, and a certain piece of land at the end of the said water, containing 
three acres, for their use, and the feed thereof; and to wet hemp in the water, 
and dry the same on the said three acres of land, and might dig the soil and carry it 
away therefrom, and also from Mill Hill, in Belton Heath, and the timber, &c., growing 



on the said way for repairing the town-house ; and whether the said agreement was 
not carried into execution ; and if complainants did not for twelve years quietly enjoy 
the water, &c., after the execution of the releases. And whether, before the agreement, 
the inhabitants had a right to take the land, gravel, &c. ; and if complainant did not 
clear the water, and make a bank, &c., for the fowl to breed, &c." 


which is a rectory dedicated to St. Mary, and now consolidated with the adjoining 
benefice of Flixton, is valued in the King's books at 13. 6s. 8d. It is a singular 
edifice, comprising a nave and chancel, with a remarkably high-pitched roof, covered 
with thatch. The tower, which is circular and small in diameter, rises but little 
above the ridge of the nave, and looks more like a chimney than a steeple. It exhibits 
decided marks of Norman erection, and was probably attached to an earlier edifice than 
the present church, which, apparently incorporating the north wall of the ancient nave, 
seems raised on a wider ground-plan, thereby bringing the apex of the western gable 
to the southward of the tower, and producing a very inharmonious effect. The 
masonry of both nave and chancel is composed of large squared flints, but the walls of 
the latter bulge outwards in a threatening angle, and foretell a speedy dissolution. 
The interior is lofty and effective, and very neatly kept; and a carved oaken screen 
beneath the chancel arch is well deserving of observation. The lower compartments of 

Miss Dowson, del^ . 

c. Bedford. Litiio. 



this screen were in olden days richly painted and gilt, as the accidental discovery of 
one portion, by the removal of some boards, fortunately evinces. This splendid example 
of ancient art forms an illustration to the present work, and has been engraved from 
the faithful pencil of the late Miss Dowson, of Yarmouth. St. Peter pointing to the 
keys of Heaven and Hell, and an angel with uplifted hands assuring us of our salvation 
through the passion of Christ, occupy the two compartments of a pointed arch, richly 
backed by a crimson ground, diapered with gold. There is a stiffness in the attitude 
of each figure, and a harshness of outline visible here, as in the works of more 
celebrated artists, even at a later period; but these paintings are, nevertheless, 
extremely interesting, as illustrating the success of art in England in the fifteenth 
century. There is a small piscina in the chancel, and some oaken benches in the 
body of the church of excellent workmanship, and an ancient benetura near the south 
door. In the tower hang two bells, one of which was brought from the ruinated 
church of the adjoining village of Flixton. The body of the church, which presents a 
far less fearful aspect than the chancel, has lately undergone considerable renovation, 
and is indebted to the zeal of Mr. Steward for the preservation of many of its ancient 

Reginald Wynstone, by his last will, dated the 14th of April, 1438, leaves his body 
to be buried within the church of Bluudeston, and constitutes William Wynstone and 
John Wynstone, his sons, his executors. In the Lansdowne MSS. 13 is a note, taken 
apparently about the year 1573, of several armorial cognizances which then ornamented 
the windows of this building. " In the chancel windows. Arg. a lion sable. Fitz- 
Osbert and Jerningham. Quarterly, arg. and b. quarterly indented, a bend gules. 
Arg. a cross engrailed gules. Bloundeville, or and b. quarterly, indented, a bend gules, 
sided with Gurney. Gules, 3 gemelles or, a canton ermine, billetted sable. Sable a 
cross sarsele or, betwixt four scallops arg. Sable, a chevron arg. between 3 cinquefoils 
or." " In the church, gul. a lion argent. Arg. 3 buckles lozengy gules, Jernegan. 
Gu. and b. pale, on a fess wavy arg., 3 crescents sab. betwixt three crosses pale or. 
Blundeville and Inglos. Erm. on a chevron sab., 3 crescents or, syded with Nownton. 
Sir Ed. Jenney, erm. a bend gul. cotised or, quartering sab. a chevr. twyxt 3 buckles 
argent. Or and g. barre unde. Castell, gu., 3 castells arg. Sab. a chev. gules, 
droppe or, twixt 3 cinquefoils pserd ermine. Or and b. checke. Paston, Bolaine, 
Nawton, and Barney, Nawton and Howard. Or 3 chev. gu., on each 3 ermines arg. 
sided with Nawton. Sampson syded with Felbrig. Felbrig, on his shoulder a mullet 
arg. Bedingfeld quartering Tuddenham, and one of Knevett single." 

Monuments. There is an old floor-stone with a cross, but no other ancient 
memorials, in this church. Among the more modern are the following : 

No. 258, p. 215. 


Robertus Snelling, Rector, obt. Sep. 12, 1690, set. 65. Hie jacet Butts Bacon, 
Baronettus, Nicholai Bacon, Anglise Baronetti primi filius septimus, qui obiit Maij 
29, 1661. Dorothea Bacon, his widow, obt. Sep. 4, 1679. Arms. Bacon. 

Elizabeth, daughter of John Burkin, of Burlingham, died Jan. 26, 1735. She was 
first married to the Rev. Mr. Gregory Clarke, and after his decease to the Rev. Mr. 
Thomas Carter. 

Samuel Luson, died July 7, 1766, aged 33. Luson bears, quarterly, 1st and 4th, 
a/, and gul., 3 sinister hands arg., 2nd and 3rd, erm., 3 roses. . . . Sarah Keziah 
Thurtcll, died May 29th, 1833, aged IS years. William Wales, died June 8, 1710, 
n^ed 63. Gregory Clarke, Christi minister, died 3 Ides of Jan. 1726, aged 45. 
William Sydnor, Esq., died 1613. Robert Brown, died Sep. 6, 1813, aged 52 years. 
Mary, his daughter, Aug. 18, 1812, aged 22 years. Sarah, wife of John Clark, widow 
of the above Robert Brown, died Nov. 16, 1818, aged 59. Elizabeth, second wife 
of James Thurtell, of Flixton, died June 15, 1823, aged 75 years. Elizabeth, wife of 
John Clark, died Jan. 28, 1801, aged 28 years. John Clark, died Oct. 7, 1826, aged 
:>7 years. Stephen Saunders, M. D., born 17th Oct. 1777, died 1st Oct. 1814. 
Timothy Steward, of Great Yarmouth, died 25th of June, 1836. Mary, his wife, 
daughter of John Fowler, and Ann, his wife, died 22 Jan. 1837. Arms. Steward, 
quarterly, 1st and 4th. Or, a fess chequee arg. and az. ; 2nd and 3rd, arg., a lion 
rump, gules, debruised with a bendlct raguly or, impales Fowler, az. on a fess between 
3 lions pass, guard, or, as many crosses patonce sable. 

The registers of Blundeston commence in 1558. They contain several notices 
of monies collected by Brief in aid of sufferers by fire in distant parts of England. 
Among others, " To a loss by fire at y e head of y e Cannon-gate at Edinburgh, in North 
Britain, Jan. 13, 170f, Is. M." The advowson of Blundeston with Flixton was sold 
in 1844, by Lord Sydney Osborne, to Thomas Morse, Esq., of Blundeston. 


Rectors. Date. Patrons. 

Adam Bacun . . . 1312 Gustos Sequestr. 

Osbcrt de Keteringham . 1318 Robert de Blundeston. 

Thomas de Blundeston . 1349 Richard de Blundeston. 

Thomas de Fereby . . 1361 Robert, his son and heir. 

Galfridus de Horningtoft . 13G2 Osbert de Blundeston. 

Nicholas Stoke . . 1385 Thos. Freton de Luthingland. 

John Bromley . . . 1398 Oliv. Robert de Ingham. 

William Evenwode . . 1400 Thomas de Erpingham. 

John Cok . . 1428 Robert Palgrave. 




Thomas Saxham 
John Cok 
Hugo Acton 
Roger Berton . 
Richard Appulby 
John Cokket . 
William Suthworth . 
Edward Suthworth . 
Milo Kerriche . 
Thomas Alyn . 
Cuthbert Sherbrooke 
John Dawes 
William Page . 
Robert Gray 
Edward Ward . 
Richard Fletcher 
Anthony Whight 

Robert Belye . 
John Underwood 
James Robinson 
Clement Kitchingman 

John Lee 
Robert Snelling 
Francis Langley 
Christopher Eachard 
Gregory Clarke 
Robert Baldwin 
John Bacon 
Ashurst Allin . 
John Love 
Edward Missenden Love 





Henry Yarmouth de Blundeston. 

Margaret Palgrave de Gunton. 
Henry Yarmouth. 
Robert Unglouse. 

Eleanor, widow of Will. Jenney. 


Robert Blomevyle, Esq. 

Edward Blomevyle, Esq. 

Humphrey Jernemuth. 

Thomasine Lake de Colchester. 

Humphrey Yarmouth. 

John Stanton, exec r . of Hum. Yarmouth, of Blun- 

1587 William Sydnor, Esq. 

1600 Id. 

1624 Id. 

1643 Thomas Fuller, Gent., jure Ehz: ux: fil: et hser: 

Gul. Sydnor. 

1663 Richard Marriott, Gent. 

1668 The King, by lapse. 

1690 Sir Thomas Allin, Bart . 

1692 Id. 

1706 Robert Baldwin, Gent. 

1726 Sir Thomas Allin. 

1729 Id. 

1732 Id. 

1770 Mary Love, widow. 

1817 George Anguish, elk. 

Estimatio illius xx marc. 

BRADWELL is not mentioned in Domesday Book, as it was included in the returns made 
for Gabbetun ; and there is no manor of Bradwell to the present day. In the Act 
of Parliament for enclosing the parishes of Bradwell, Belton, and Fritton, the only 

VOL. I. 


lordships mentioned as claiming an interest in the soil are Mr. Anguish's manor of 
Gapton Hall with Belton; the manor of Caldecott Hall, belonging to Magdalen 
College, Oxford; and Mr. Turner's manor of Fritton. As parcel, therefore, of the 
lordship of Gapton, this parish was royal demesne in the time of William the 
Conqueror, and placed under the stewardship of Roger Bigot. The advowson of the 
church was long in inedieties, and in the reign of Edward I. was presented to by a 
family which assumed its surname from the village. In 1361, it was returned that 
"Johes, fil: Johis Norwici, tenuit, die quo obiit, in dnico suo, ut de feodo, Maner 
de Wathe, ac mediet: advoc: ecclie de Bradwell de r: in cap: p: servic: reddend: ad 
castr. R. Norwici iiij*. pro firma de alba firma." l 

In the following year, John Gernegan, cousin and heir of John Noyoun, deceased, 
was stated to hold in capite the same manor and a mediety of the advowson of 
Bradwell, by the same rent, and service to the castle at Norwich. 2 John Jernegan, 
of Worlingham Parva, by his last will, proved in December, 1474, bequeaths it, inter 
alia, to his son. " Morovyr I wille that John, my sone, after my deces, have all my 
maners of Somerleyton, Horham, &c., with the vowson of the churches of Somerleyton, 
Horham, Stonham Jernegan, and Bradwell, with the foundacon of the hows of 
St. Olavys, to him and his issue male : remder to the elder sone of the said John : 
remder to Osburne, my sone, and his issue." In the twenty -fourth of Elizabeth, 
there was a fine between Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq., plaintiff, and John Jernegan, Esq., 
and Katharine his wife, deforcients, inter alia, of the advowson of the churches of